Relatives anger at Foyleville closure proposals

Foyleville Day Centre, Academy Road. DER1515MC087
Foyleville Day Centre, Academy Road. DER1515MC087

Relatives of local people who attend Foyleville Day Care Centre have expressed their anger after meeting with the Western Trust about proposals which would see the facility close as part of an amalgamation.

The Derry Journal revealed back in February that the Western Trust had drawn up plans which would see the number of day care centres in Derry cut.

The Trust is now seeking people’s views on their suggestions, which if they go ahead will see the services at Foyleville on Academy Road and Fanad Drive in Creggan amalgamated into a single ‘Level One’ centre.

The ‘Proposals for the Future of Day Care Services for Older People’ will see a re-evaluation of the needs for all those using day care facilities in the west.

Some of the 55 people who use Foyleville were present along with relatives and friends at a meeting with Western trust representatives at the centre this week.

One man, whose brother uses the facility, said: “There are at least 50 to 60 people here at this centre and 55 people who go to the centre in Creggan. By closing Foyleville and moving everybody does that mean people are going to get half the service?

“It seems like taking the lifeboats out of the Titanic.

“This centre is working and has been working brilliantly for years.

“The staff there are excellent. These are people who genuinely care, and God knows what will happen to them under these proposals.”

Concerns have been raised over the impact of any upheaval or major change to the care routine for Foyleville users, particularly on those with complex mobility and mental health needs.

The equality impact on some elderly users who currently travel from the Waterside has also been questioned.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) launched a consultation on proposals for the reform of Day Care Services within Primary Care and Older People Services back in February.

The Western Trust said the proposals have been equality screened and is inviting the public and interested parties to have their say.

They also said they were consulting widely with service users and their carers, staff, communities and independent providers.

Deirdre Walker, Assistant Director of Adult Safeguarding, commented: “Day Care services aim to provide care, promote independence and strive to maintain individuality by providing a range of flexible services to those clients with assessed need across the Trust.

“The Trust is really keen to hear and consider carefully all views on how our Day Care Services are delivered in the future. We would encourage everyone to get their responses in as soon as possible and contribute their views.”

The types of Day Care within the older people’s directorate are in the form of social care, adult Day Care and dementia specific care.

Information on the proposals and on how to respond can be downloaded from the Western Trust’s website www.westerntrust.hscni.net by clicking on ‘Involving You’ and ‘Consultations’.

There are three tiers of care for local people being put forward.

Level One (High) Day Care Services includes full respite day care, personal care, day clinics and re-ablement programmes.

Level Two (Low) will involve a social club, luncheon club, and education, information and mobility schemes.

Level Three (Lower) will involve active living groups, handyman services, support groups, self-referrals and leisure facilities, all geared towards keeping more people in their own homes and preventing them being admitted into long-term care placements.

Under the plans, Carnhill Resource Centre in Derry will become a Level Two centre and will also accommodate people deemed as ‘Level Two’ who currently attend the Creggan and Foyleville facilities.

Sevenoaks in the Waterside will be retained as a Level One Centre, as will Thackeray in Limavady and the day centres in Strabane and Castlederg in Tyrone.

Newtonstewart and Gortin will be amalgamated to provide a one day per week service at Newtonstewart.

The ‘Proposals for the Future of Day Care Services for Older People’ will see a re-evaluation of all those using day care facilities in the west.

There are currently over 38,600 people aged 65 and over in the Western Trust area. The consultation documents states that under the wider Transforming Your Care agenda, Older People should be looked after wherever possible in their home “or as close to their home as possible”.

The eight week consultation will close at 4pm next Friday, 24 April.

Information on the proposals and on how to respond can be downloaded from the Western Trust’s website www.westerntrust.hscni.net by clicking on ‘Involving You’ and ‘Consultations’.

Responses can be completed via post by 4pm until next Friday, Friday 24 April 2015 to: Bernie McCafferty, Strategic Change and Performance Manager, Primary Care and Older Peoples Services, Spruce Villa, Gransha Hospital, Derry, BT47 1TF. Or telephone 028 7186 3912, or e-mail: Bernie.mccafferty@westerntrust.hscni.net.