‘Trust need to get head out of sand’ - Durkan

The Cottages Respite Care, Dungiven Road, Derry. DER4914MC059
The Cottages Respite Care, Dungiven Road, Derry. DER4914MC059

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has called on the Western Trust to urgently engage with families of children with complex needs to ensure respite services continue for all local families at the Cottages.

“The Western Trust really has to get its head out of the sand and step up to the mark on the future delivery of respite services here in Derry,” said Mr. Durkan.

“At a meeting this week, families affected by the proposals have dismissed offers of respite in the Avlon facility in Omagh. Indeed, families have no option but to dismiss such an offer, as it is unrealistic, impractical and for many physically impossible to transport their children to another town.

“While I have had continued engagement with the Health Minister, the silence from the Western Trust is deafening. The small monetary saving can simply not be accepted as principled reasoning when the wellbeing of these children, the most profoundly disabled, is potentially at risk.

“This is too much pain for questionable gain and the Western Trust needs to urgently recognise that.”

He continued:

“Families feel the Trust has failed them and more so the entire system has failed them.

“These parents and carers are doing the health system an invaluable service, without their sacrifice the system would have a much more costly task to provide full time care for these children.

“I am fearful that without urgent engagement to find a feasible and effective support system here locally, not only will these children’s but their parents’ wellbeing will be in jeopardy.”

The Derry Journal contacted the Western Trust but no one was available to comment.