Elderly to lose out in Trust cuts

Even more elderly and vulnerable people in Derry will suffer as the Western Trust’s budget is stretched to breaking point, SDLP spokesperson Mark H Durkan has said.

Mr Durkan said given further cuts and increased demand for services “continued decreases to service provision will undoubtedly occur”.

He was speaking after the Western Trust announced a reorganisation of how care home packages to the elderly are awarded. And while he said “it’s good to see” the Trust attempting to stretch its domiciliary care budget further, he stated that such a stretching of resources “will prove increasingly difficult to have a positive effect on service provision”.

“One of the main reasons the SDLP voted against the budget was due to the massive cuts to domiciliary care packages and we believe this health budget won’t come close to being able to cope with the pressures of domiciliary care and home help packages over the lifetime of this Assembly mandate.

“Already, each Trust’s budget is stretched to breaking point and vulnerable people have had their care cut or completely withdrawn.

“With an aging population, this will only get worse. Whilst there are real savings that can be made through improvements - for instance through cross-border co-operation, it’s incredibly naive to believe that these savings can be realised without a negative effect on service provision,” he said.

Meanwhile the Foyle MLA welcomed a new drug developed by Queen’s University for people suffering with Cystic Fibrosis as “a remarkable achievement”.