The woman tasked with taking over the consultation process on plans for Northern Ireland’s NHS care homes has said her priority will be to “provide reassurance and support” for residents who are concerned about their future.
Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children’s Services at the Health and Social Care Board was appointed by Health Minister Edwin Poots this afternoon after he stripped the local Health Trusts of any role in the consultation process.
The HSCB said Ms McAndrew will lead a regional process and work closely with Health and Social Care Trusts to ensure that any changes to statutory residential care provision over the coming months and years are progressed with sensitivity and place the wishes and needs of older people at the core.
Ms McAndrew said: “The Board and the Trusts have listened to the views of older people, relatives and staff. We are firmly committed to ensuring that older people receive the care they need now and into the future, and that they have a say in how their needs are met.
“It will be critical over the coming days and months, to provide reassurance and support for those residents, families and staff who have been affected over the last 10 days, and we are seeking meetings as early as possible with the Commissioner for Older People and other groups such as Age NI to discuss how this can be best achieved for each individual.
“It is absolutely essential that the views of older people and their relatives, and in particular those currently living in residential care, are heard and listened to.”