Lift Roddens ban on admissions demands Council

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BALLYMONEY Councillor John Finlay has called on the Health Minister to lift the embargo on people being admitted to the Roddens Residential Home in the town.

His motion was seconded by Councillor Philip McGuigan and received backing from councillors.

Council also formally endorsed its support for the retention of the Home which has served the community well and would be a sad loss if it were to close.

Discussion on the matter arose from a report by the Chief Executive advising that in a statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly on Tuesday 7 May the Health Minister Edwin Poots stated that he had “called a halt to individual Trusts consulting on proposed closures within their area”.

As a result the Northern Health and Social Care Trust consultation on its proposals for the future of statutory residential care for older people has been withdrawn.

The Minister has asked the Health and Social Care Board to lead on a new process for consulting and implementing change and the Board will work closely with the Trusts to co-ordinate a regional approach.

Speaking about local concerns, Councillor Finlay, who had attended a meeting organised by the local branch of the Health Union UNISON, just prior to Council’s meeting on 3rd June, said: “I am very concerned where this embargo on admissions is taking us.

“I strongly oppose the policy introduced by the Minister to ban admissions which is closure by stealth.

“The Roddens has served the community well and would be a sad loss if it were to close,” the councillor concluded.

Earlier this year the Council considered concerns put to it by the Friends of the Roddens stating its opposition to any redefining of the status of the Roddens Residential Home in the Minister’s overhaul of the Health Service.

Council resolved to lend its support to the support group in its representations and wrote to the Chief Executive of the Northern Health & Social Care Trust.

The Health Chief indicated he was unable to meet to discuss the future plans for the Roddens while the consultation was ongoing.

Following the closure of the consultation Council is seeking a early meeting with the Trust.