East Derry Assembly Member John Dallat has met with the Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Services Trust to discuss a wide range of health services including the future of Thackery Place, Limavady.
Mr. Dallat says he met the chief executive along with colleagues from Foyle and West Tyrone.
Speaking yesterday, MAL Dallat said the meeting was ‘rebust and business-like’.
“I am satisfied that the SDLP concerns about the future of Thackery Place are well understood by the Chief Executive and her staff,” he told the ‘Journal’.
“Clearly we are very unhappy about the circumstances in which the proposals for the future of this residential home arose and certainly don’t expect to witness a repeat of that which appeared to be marginally short of an eviction notice.”
The SDLP man said the delegation’s argument has been further strengthened by the passing of a SDLP motion in the Assembly on Tuesday, which reads:
“That this Assembly expresses concern that the implementation of the ‘Transforming Your Care’ review of health and social care, commissioned by the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, has enabled health and social care trusts to take decisions on the closure of care homes; is concerned by the detrimental impact which the privatisation of many aspects of health and social care will have on vulnerable people; urges the Minister to ensure that the patient and not profit is put at the centre of care provision by the Health and Social Care Board; and calls on the Minister to introduce legislation to protect services from privatisation by stealth.’
Mr. Dallat said his party believes it is wrong for any health trust to transfer all responsibility for care homes to the private sector.
“We expect the Western Health and Social Trust board members to stop any policy decision which would mean putting all their eggs in the one basket,” said Mr. Dallat.
“In relation to the future of Thackery Place, Limavady, we are confident that this won’t happen and steps will be taken to ensure that there is not a run-down of this very popular facility which has served the community well for many years,” added Mr. Dallat.
Following news of a review of the care homes run by the Western Trust, including Thackeray Place, residents, workers and the community rallied to campaign against it.
They say the care home is part of the fabric of Limavady, and is a vital part of the community and would be devastated should it close.