Derry MLAs call for care home consultation process to be suspended

Sinn MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney.
Sinn MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLAs Raymond McCartney and Maeve McLaughlin have called for the consultation process on the proposed closure of four residential homes for older people in Derry, Limavady and Strabane to be suspended immediately.

Mr. McCartney and Ms. McLaughlin sent a letter to the Western Health and Social Care Trust this morning (Friday). In the letter both MLAs expressed their disappointment at the way the proposed closures was being handled and insisted that more dialogue between all the parties involved is required before any final decision is taken.

“We [Sinn Fein] have been in contact with the Western Trust locally,” Mr. McCartney told the ‘Journal’ this morning.

“Myself and my party colleague Maeve McLaughlin have sent a letter to the Western Trust asking them to suspend the current consultation process.

“The current process is undermining what consultation is all about. Some people feel that despite the consultation process the outcome has already been predetermined, this can’t be tolerated so that’s why we are calling for the current process to be suspended.”

Mr. McCartney said contrary to the period of time suggested for phased closure of some residential homes in the Transforming Your Care document there is a suggestion that some homes could close much earlier.

“Transforming Your Care say that any closure would be over three to five years but there is a belief that some homes could close as soon as November. This can’t be allowed to happen; more dialogue is needed because we are talking about old and vulnerable people.”

For full in-depth coverage of the proposed residential home closures see today’s Derry Journal City and Roe Valley editions, with further coverage in this weekend’s Sunday Journal.