Could William Street and Rectory Field homes be saved

William Street Residential Home. 0105JM43
William Street Residential Home. 0105JM43

There could be good news for threatened residential homes such as William Street and Rectory Field, with last night’s announcement from the Minister for Health that the prosposed closure of statutory homes should be halted.

The move comes after Four Seasons Health Care said it was closing seven privately-owned care homes in Northern Ireland.

The seven care home closures will affect 254 patients and 393 staff.

Four Seasons said it was closing them because they are “operating at a loss”.

Health Minister Simon Hamilton has now instructed the Health and Social Care Board to halt and review the proposed closures of Statutory Residential Care Homes.

Speaking today, Health Minister Simon Hamilton said: “Trusts have been engaging in consultations on statutory residential care homes in their areas, with three already complete and two still outstanding. When concluded, proposals will be forwarded to the Board for consideration before they come to me for a final decision. None of them have to date made it as far as the Department.

“I have become increasingly concerned about a range of pressures facing the Independent sector and particular problems facing one of the largest independent providers of residential care in Northern Ireland.

“I have been keeping developments under constant review and as a consequence of these growing concerns and confirmation today that Four Seasons Health Care will close seven homes across Northern Ireland, I am asking the Health and Social Care Board to halt and review the proposed closures of Statutory Residential Care Homes.

“Given that many of the proposals are predicated on spare local capacity in the Independent sector, it is only right and proper to pause, reflect and give careful consideration to issues arising in the Independent sector.”

A 12 weeks consultation on the future of the Derry homes concluded on Friday, October 30, with a final decision to made on the future of the two care homes in January 2016.