Shock and anger at closure plan - as families vow to fight on

CLOSURE. . . .William Street Residential Home. 0105JM43
CLOSURE. . . .William Street Residential Home. 0105JM43

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) yesterday approved a proposal to begin a 13 weeks consultation on the proposed closure of four residential care homes for older people in Derry, Limavady and Strabane.

William Street Care Home, Rectory Fields Care home, Thackeray Place in Limavady and Greenfield in Strabane could all close within 12 months of the completion of the consultation process.

There are currently 74 permanent residents split between the four sites. The proposals come on the back of the Transforming Your Care Strategy - which will see massive changes made to numerous aspects of health and social care.

There has been a media and political storm following the revelations earlier this week that the future of the four sites would be reviewed. Many of those affected by the consultation proposals only heard about the plans on Monday. Over the last three days representatives from the Trust have been travelling to the four sites to address staff, residents and their families about the process.

Families have reacted angrily to the proposals and also to how the process has been dealt with.

At the Board meeting yesterday Limavady DUP Councillor George Robinson claimed the manner in which residents have been treated was “shameful and disgusting”.

Speaking at the Trust Board meeting yesterday, Alan Corry Finn, Western Trust Director of Primary Care and Older Peoples Services admitted that the process had not been dealt with in the way the Trust would have preferred - but that their hand was forced by breaking news stories around the Transforming Your Care strategy in other health trusts.

Trust Chairman Gerard Guckian added: “Residents, relatives, staff and Trade Unions will be advised as to how they can participate in the formal consultation on the proposals in relation to the four homes in the coming weeks. They will have an opportunity to make their views known as part of the consultation process.

“I give a personal guarantee that this will be an open and honest engagement. I encourage everyone to have their say and let us know their view and we will listen to them.”