Derry City Council has called on Health Minister Jim Wells to scrap Western Trust proposals to cut services for disabled children at The Cottages respite centre.
A motion to this effect was tabled by SDLP Councillor Ann Donnelly during the council’s January meeting this week.
Colr. Donnelly also called on her fellow councillors to note “the invaluable service” provided at the Cottages and to reject any attempt by the Western trust to scale back service provision, stating that this will have a devastating impact on families who use it.
“I would like to say as someone who has been working for over 40 years with children and adults with severe complex needs I think it’s a disgrace.
“We must speak out with a very loud voice on behalf of these children who are unable to speak for themselves.”
“We, Derry City Council, must tell the Western Health Trust; we must tell the government, enough is enough. These vulnerable people need respite. The parents need a break and we must fight to the very end.”
Backing the motion, Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue said it was unacceptable that the plans to reduce the service were made without health watchdog RQIA assessing it or consultation.
“WE feel this is going to cause further distrewss to the families involved who have made close contact and a bond with the workers,” Cole. Logue said.
Ms Logue further also welcomed the recent announcement that the Minister has put a hold on any action by the Trust for now.