‘The Cottages’ Respite Care Unit receives financial boost

The Cottages Respite Care Unit, Dungiven Road, Derry. DER4914MC059
The Cottages Respite Care Unit, Dungiven Road, Derry. DER4914MC059

The Western Trust and Social Care Trust (W.H.S.C.T.) has confirmed that recently received financial investment in ‘The Cottages’ respite care unit for children with complex needs is “enormously beneficial”.

There were fears in 2014 and 2015 that the respite care facility’s ability to provide invaluable support would deteriorate or even close completely.

I have been informed by the W.H.S.C.T. that it is now in a position to sustain services at ‘The Cottages’

Sinn Fein election candidate, Maeve McLaughlin

Parents of children with complex needs to used the facility mounted a campaign to save the unit closure. The parents were backed by all local political parties.

A W.H.S.C.T. spokesperson insisted there was never any intention to close the respite care unit but admitted the recent financial boost would benefit the families and the young people who avail of the service.

“The W.H.S.C.T. wishes to reiterate to the public that it never proposed to close ‘The Cottages’ Residential Short Break Service. The W.H.S.C.T. had been reviewing this service to ensure services are designed to meet the complexity of the current demand, are safe, sustainable and are provided within the commissioned level of funding.”

The spokesperson added: “Recently received investment, alongside the collaborative working of W.H.S.C.T. staff with parents and service commissioners has been enormously beneficial in responding to this task. This collaborative approach will continue in order to further plan and respond to emerging needs and the design of future service provision for children with disabilities and their families.”

Sinn Fein election candidate for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin, welcomed the investment news.

“I have been informed by the W.H.S.C.T. that it is now in a position to sustain services at ‘The Cottages’. As Foyle MLA in the outgoing Assembly and Chair of the Health Committee I constantly lobbied the Health Minister and the W.H.S.C.T. on behalf of those who depended on the facilities provided by the staff and management at ‘The Cottages’.

“I therefore welcome the announcement by the W.H.S.C.T. that it is now in a position to sustain the current provision.

“The decision to establish a ‘Parents’ Forum’ to assist the W.H.S.C.T. in tailoring future service provision to current and emerging needs for children and their families is particularly welcome.

“I look forward to working with management,staff and service users in whatever capacity I can best assist them in the times ahead,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

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VIDEO - Families of children with complex needs ask people of Derry for help