THE Chief Executive of Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Mr Sean Donaghy has declined an invitation from Ballymoney Borough Council to discuss the proposed closure of the Roddens Residential Home.
During a recent meeting, members heard that Mr Donaghy had written back stating that as the consultation process was ongoing he could not come before Council as it would not be appropriate ‘at this time’.
However speaking at a recent Full Council meeting, the Ballymoney Council Chief Executive, Mr John Dempsey also outlined that the Friends of the Roddens had contacted Council asking for their support.
The issue was raised following news that a letter had been sent by The Friends of the Roddens to Mr Donaghy and the Health Minister, Mr Edwin Poots, MLA expressing alarm that the facility would be axed under a new proposed overhaul of Health Services.
The correspondence explained: ‘The Friends of the Roddens, Ballymoney, have forwarded a copy of a letter to Mr Sean Donaghy, Chief Executive of Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Health Minister, Mr Edwin Poots, MLA, expressing alarm at sections of the Minister’s Health Policy statement on 9 October, in particular that the Roddens, state-run residential home, a long established facility and an invaluable element of the very fabric of society, will be axed under the Minister’s proposed overhaul of the Health Service.
‘The Friends of the Roddens strongly oppose all proposals and endeavours to redefine the status of the Roddens Residential Home and have sought assurances from the Chief Executive of the Trust and the Minister that their fears and suspicions are unfounded and they will as a matter of urgency, allay those fears at the earliest possible opportunity by communicating, clearly, their intentions for the future of the Roddens to remain in its present and dedicated role, as a residential home primarily for the benefit of the long-term care of the elderly citizens of the town and borough of Ballymoney.’
Responding Cllr John Finlay said: “We knew that Mr Donaghy wouldn’t come to speak to us beforehand but we just sent the letter so once the consultation is over then we could get the first offer.”
The Mayor Cllr Evelyne Robinson agreed and proposed that Council thank Mr Donaghy for his reply and ask him to come before Council after the consultation is over.
Cllr Ian Stevenson then urged members to support the Friends of the Roddens while Cllr Finlay concurred adding: ‘Yeah we can support the Friends but we need to make sure we get the minister here as soon as possible to.’
Concluding Cllr Philip McGuigan asked if Mr Donaghy’s invited was ‘just on the Roddens issue’ stating: “We could do with meeting with him to discuss a lot of other things to.”
In response Cllr Robinson added: “We can ask him to come before Council to discuss the whole issue of Transforming Your Care.”