The Western Trust has launched a formal consultation period to discuss proposals to close Derry’s two remaining NHS care homes to new admissions.
The consultation was officially launched on Friday and will run for 12 weeks. If passed, both Rectory Fields in the Waterside and William Street in the cityside will be closed to new admissions and will eventually be closed permanently.
Thackery Place in Limavady and Greenfields in Strabane will be unaffected.
In a statement issued from the Trust on Friday, Bernie McCafferty, Strategic Change and Performance Manager for Primary Care and Older People’s Services, said: “The consultation has been launched following a recent meeting in public on 19 May 2015 in which the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) approved a recommendation that Trusts proceed to consult on the individual proposals for change.
“The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close at 4pm on Friday, 30 October 2015. The proposal has been equality screened and the Trust is now inviting the public and interested parties to have their say.”
Elaine Way, Chief Executive, commented: “This consultation is part of a long term piece of work which is necessary to ensure that we have the right services in place to meet the needs of older people in the Western Trust area both now and in the future.
“I am conscious that this will be an anxious and unsettling time for our current residents and their families, and so I would like to reassure you that you will be able to live in your current home for as long as you may wish as long as it continues to safely meet your needs.
“The Trust is keen to hear and consider carefully all views on our proposed changes to the provision of statutory residential care for older people in the Trust.
“We would encourage everyone to get their responses in as soon as possible and contribute their views.”
On 29 November 2013 the HSCB commenced a public consultation on the proposed criteria for evaluating the future role and function of statutory residential care homes for older people.
Its consultation closed on 7 March 2014, and the final criteria were published in June 2014. At the same time Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs) were asked by the HSCB to undertake local needs assessments for older peoples’ services.
Any proposals for change were set within the context of the needs assessment.