The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a public consultation period to decide the future of Statutory Residential Care for Older People - including the future of The Roddens in Ballymoney.
The Health and Social Care Board recently approved the Trust’s proposals for local consultation in relation to the future of statutory residential homes in the Northern Trust area.
It is proposed to continue providing residential care at Lisgarel in Larne, Clonmore in Newtownabbey, Joymount in Carrickfergus and Rosedale in Antrim and to resume permanent admissions to these homes once the consultation process has concluded.
Due to the availability of suitable alternative accommodation, the Trust is proposing to phase out residential care provision at The Roddens in Ballymoney, Westlands in Cookstown and Pinewood in Ballymena.
At Westlands, there is potential to develop the site as a community health and social care hub and at Pinewood in Ballymena it is proposed to develop this unit as a rehabilitation facility to cover the Ballymena and Antrim areas.
At this point, there are no alternative plans for the use of The Roddens but in common with other statutory organisations, the Trust has a policy of exploring all options in relation to sites which are no longer considered integral to the delivery of Trust services.
Una Cunning, Director of Community Care at the Northern Trust said: “In launching this consultation, which will run for 14 weeks until 2 October 2015, I would emphasise that we fully support the former Ministerial commitment that existing permanent residents in statutory residential homes will be allowed to remain in their home as long as they wish and as long as their needs can continue to be met there.
“As such these proposals do not present any change for current permanent and long term temporary residents.
“It is important that we plan for the future in meeting the needs of older people, in terms of their aspirations and the support services that will be required.
“I would encourage people to get involved in the consultation process, to read the documents and to respond. All responses will be carefully considered before the Trust’s final proposals are submitted to the Health and Social Care Minister.”
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge said: “The DHSSPS, HSCB and 5 H&SC Trusts have now addressed the concerns that the Commissioner originally raised with the Minister about proposals to close a number of Statutory Residential Care Homes. The process has been regionally planned, was transparent and evidence based. In addition, each Local Commissioning Group has been involved with their local H&SC Trust to make sure that when decisions are made about closures of Statutory Residential care Homes it is only to be on the basis that appropriate alternative provision is in place for the residents who would be affected by the closure.
“The Commissioner recognises that some changes have to be made now, in order to ensure that the overall services to older people can be high quality, appropriate and fully meet the needs of todays and tomorrows older people.”
Linda Robinson, Age NI Chief Executive, said, ‘The voice of older people living in homes, which may be affected, must be central to the consultation process, and those people must be at the forefront of exercising choice and control over their lives. We welcome the regional approach that has been taken to co-ordinate this process across all five Trusts.
‘We know clearly that this process has the potential to cause concern and anxiety for older people, their families and friends, and we are content that the Trusts will ensure that the utmost attention is paid to ensuring that their rights are upheld at all stages throughout the consultation and decision making process. This may require specific support to those older residents who will want to participate.
‘We welcome the continued commitment by the Minister for Health to ensure that no older person, whose needs remain the same, will be forced to leave a home they reside in.’
Consultation documents are available on the Trust website: www.northerntrust.hscni.net/ or by contacting:
Equality Unit, Route Complex, 8e Coleraine Road, Ballymoney, BT53 6BP. Telephone: 028 2766 1377. Fax: 028 2766 1209. Text (SMS): 07825 667 154. Textphone: 028 2766 1377. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.northerntrust.hscni.net