‘Thackeray is a home - not an institution’

RESIDENTIAL HOME PROTEST. . . .Workers and local politicians pictured outside Thackeray Place Residential Home in Limavady on Wednesday morning, protesting about the proposed closure of the home. 0105JM35

RESIDENTIAL HOME PROTEST. . . .Workers and local politicians pictured outside Thackeray Place Residential Home in Limavady on Wednesday morning, protesting about the proposed closure of the home. 0105JM35

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Staff of Thackeray Place in Limvady have hit back angryily at comments made last week by the Western Trust’s director of older people’s care at a meeting of Derry City Council.

The ‘Journal’ reported on Friday that Alan Corey Finn, when briefing councillors on the Transforming Your Care plans, said Residential homes in Derry are not full because people do not want to enter residential care.

However, staff at Thackeray Place Residential Care Home say that certainly isn’t the case for them.

“Thackeray is at 100 per cent occupancy and has been for some time,” said a worker. “We have 32 residents of which 29 are permanent and three are respite patients. We are flat out at the minute and and this is why we need to keep Thackeray open. Thackeray is not seeing any drop in demand.”

Mr Corey Finn was also reported as saying: “There are challenges and people are exercising choice. People are taking as much care as they can at home because they don’t want to enter an institution.”

The worker said staff and residents and their families felt insulted by the use of the term “institution”.

“Thackeray is not an institution, it is a care home for older people. Institution is such a cold term. Thackeray is a home away from home for residents, and to read that term in the paper; well it’s an insult and people were outraged about it. How could anyone call their home an institution?”

Limavady DUP councillor Alan Robinson said residents of Thackeray would “vehemently oppose any suggestion that Thackeray is an institution, but rather they view their facility as a home from home where I personally have never, in all my countless visits to Thackeray have heard any resident say that they were not receiving a high standard of care nor were they unhappy in their environment or had they any desire to vacate Thackeray Residential Home,” said Colr. Robinson.

Despite the fresh review directed by th health minister into publicly run care homes, the worker said staff feel that Thackeray will ultimately close under the Transforming Your Care proposals,

“I think one way or another they will close Thackeray, maybe not immediately but down the line, and I am not the only one who thinks that but we will fight as much as we can,” said the worker, who said a public rally has been organised for September 28 at 2.30pm starting from Thackeray.

“We won’t give up, we can’t,” said the worker.