The proposed closure of the city’s only cross-community day care facility for older people flies in the face of equality legislation, it was claimed this week.
Despite claims to the contrary, a relative of one of the elderly clients who uses Foyleville Day Centre on Academy Road, said the proposed closure of the unit could be interpreted as discriminatory.
“It is likely that older residents from the Protestant community would feel unhappy about relocating to the Creggan and Carnhill Resource Centres,” she said.
Asking not to be identified, the relative said the average age of the Foyleville Centre users was 83.
“They are all very distressed at the prospect of their Day Centre closing and being decanted to the Creggan Day Centre or Carnhill Day Centre. Foyleville is the only cross-community Adult Day Centre in the city. I am concerned that by closing this excellent Day Centre the members who attend Foyleville from the Waterside, the Fountain, and New Buildings would not want to move to the two centres in non-neutral areas and would stay at home deprived, of the service.
“The Trust’s proposed closure of the only adult day centre in a neutral, cross-community location, could be regarded as discriminatory under equality legislation,” she said.
“I am concerned that this is designed purely to cut costs and is not in the best interests of the people concerned. For some of the members, it is the only time they leave the house and is a huge social event. The local population is ageing and the demand for community support and respite services is increasing, especially for people with dementia, it doesn’t make sense to close a fantastic resource that has served older people in the local community for 18 years, increasing demand on the other centres.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Western Health and Social Care Trust this week said Trust officials had now met with the centre users and their families and were being encouraged to respond to the consultation process, which had been equality screened, the closing date for which is Friday, April 24.
Responses should be submitted by 4pm on Friday to Bernie McCafferty, Strategic Change and Performance Manager, Primary Care and Older Peoples Services, Spruce Villa, Gransha Hospital, Derry, BT47 1TF, by telephone to 02871 863912 or by email to Bernie.firstname.lastname@example.org
At present, day care is provided in 25 locations across the Trust and includes social care, adult day care and dementia specific care.