SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has welcomed news from the Department of Health that the Minister Edwin Poots has removed the authority of Health Trusts to implement plans to close residential homes for the elderly.
Mr Ramsey said: “This u-turn from the Minister is the only logical decision he could have made. The moral outrage that he has faced as a result of the failings of the numerous Health Trusts that sought to close all of their residential care homes was deafening.
“At a meeting this afternoon he removed the power of those trusts to close their facilities, and this can only be welcomed.
“The measure of a society is how it treats the vulnerable, and we all have a duty to ensure that we protect the residents of those care homes.
“The Minister and the Department have learned a valuable lesson, that people power cannot be ignored, and that society will act against the will of statutory bodies in the best interests of those most in need of their protection.
“I will be continuing to monitor the situation even in relation to Transforming Your Care proposals that focus on care homes, and I will be seeking clarity about the Minister’s plans over the weekend and into next week.
“Residential home closures must not be delayed, they must be stopped altogether.”