Ramsey ‘gobsmacked’ by home closure plans

SDLP's Pat Ramsey.  (1005JB04)
SDLP's Pat Ramsey. (1005JB04)

A Derry MLA has said he has been left “gobsmacked” by plans to close the St Oliver’s Wing of Nazareth House nursing home .

“I am gobsmacked by this news - it was only a number of weeks ago when I had been briefed by the Health Trust that they were not aware of the potential for job losses at Nazareth House given the safeguarding processes that had halted new admissions,” SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey says.

“It is an outrageous situation when management have not met or even talked to elected representatives about internal processes, and indeed staff had been forbidden from doing the same.”

Mr Ramsey says clarity is now needed.

“I am calling on the Nazareth House organisation to provide clarity to staff, the public and most importantly - residents of St Oliver’s and their families, about the immediate situation and the sustainability of the Bishop Street site.

“If there are to be job losses as a result of internal restructuring, as I believe staff have been informed of, then the management of the organisation have not informed the Trust, and they have avoided my efforts to get a clear picture on behalf of workers and residents alike.”

Stormont health minister Edwin Poots announced yesterday that

half of state-run residential care homes in Northern Ireland are to close under a proposed £70m overhaul of the health service.

Around 28 homes will close.