MLA seeks public’s views on ‘threat’ to residential homes

Lisgarel. INLT 19-404-PR
Lisgarel. INLT 19-404-PR

ALLIANCE Assembly member Stewart Dickson is seeking to arrange a meeting to discuss the “threat” to residential care homes in East Antrim.

As reported exclusively in the Larne Times, the homes – including Lisgarel in Larne – could close by 2015 under the Compton Report’s Transforming Your Care strategy for the Health Service in Northern Ireland.

The review team favours a mix of caring for more elderly people in their own homes and increased private sector provision of residential and nursing care.

Mr Dickson has revealed he is organising a meeting of interested individuals and groups to discuss the proposed move, which is to be referred to Health Minister Edwin Poots and then put out to public consultation before final decision.

Mr Dickson said that when he attended two meetings with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust on May 18, it was “made clear that the trust intend to withdraw from providing residential care home services, which will likely bring about the closure of Lisgarel, Joymount House and Clonmore House residential homes”.

He added: “The Alliance Party believes that older people must have a genuine choice about their care. That choice should include both the option to remain in their own homes with a full range of coordinated care services and the option of residential care accommodation.

“I am happy to support a campaign for the retention of appropriate residential care home accommodation across East Antrim and would like to host a meeting with interested parties to discuss how we can take this forward. If anyone would like to attend, please contact me on (028) 9335 0286.”

l A draft Northern Ireland population plan, aimed at informing decision makers, will be considered at a confidential meeting of the Local Commissioning Group today (Thursday) and at a Northern Trust board meeting tomorrow.

The information will not be published until agreed by Minister Poots, the trust informed Larne councillors this week.