Public meeting on future of Derry homes

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

A public meeting to discuss the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s proposals to close the homes at William Street and Rectory Field will be held at the Unison Office, Clarendon Street, on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m.

Local people have been asked to attend the meeting.

The Western Trust recently launched a consultation process of the future of the homes.

Under the current proposals, both the William Street Residential home and the Rectory Field care home on the Limavady Road will cease to accept new admissions and close.

However, a Unison representative said: “This proposal goes back three years. Then 18 homes were targeted.

“We all remember the outcry from across our communities that occurred when the announcement was made. This is also how we should feel today, we should feel no differently whether the proposal is to close 18 or nine or even one.”

The trade union said the campaign launched by various groups, with Unison leading the way, meant that nine of the original 18 homes now have the potential for new admissions.

“But, sadly, this is not the case for William Street or Rectory Field, as proposed by the Trust and HSCB,” the spokesperson continued.

“The closure of these homes will mean there will be no NHS residential provision in the City of Derry.

“By 2020, in five years time, we will see an increase of 30 per cent of over 75 year olds in Northern Ireland.

“Derry, after Belfast, has the second highest density of older people in Northern Ireland.

“The future older people of Derry will require residential care provision.

“We cannot rely on the private sector alone to provide residential care. The people of Derry deserve and require NHS residential care provision.”