Northern Trust proposals that Lisgarel Residential Care Home should remain open and that a ban on admissions be lifted have been approved to go out to consultation by the Health and Social Care Board.
Stressing that no decision has been made, the HSCB said on Tuesday that the admissions policy will not change pending the consultation. The board also said the decision will not affect current permanent residents, who can remain in their existing home for as long as they wish, and as long as their care needs can continue to be met there.
UUP councillors Andy Wilson and Maureen Morrow welcomed “a victory for the people who did not give up” on Lisgarel.
Former SDLP mayor of Larne Martin Wilson said: “I am delighted that, after what has been a very long and protracted battle, the Trust is to consult on its provision for elderly people.”
Speaking after the meeting with the five Health and Social Care Trusts on May 19, the HSCB’s Director of Social Care and Children Fionnuala McAndrew commented: “Over the past two years, the Health and Social Care Board has co-ordinated a process to clarify the future role and function of statutory residential care as part of a broad range of services for older people across Northern Ireland.
“I acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for residents, their relatives, carers and staff and the wider communities supporting statutory residential homes for older people.
“I have listened carefully to the views of all those who have taken the time to contribute to this process of engagement.
“I am confident that the recommendations set out in the Trusts’ proposals will help us achieve a balance between continuing to care for the current residents of statutory homes appropriately, as well as progressing plans for addressing the future needs and preferences of our population of Northern Ireland.
“There will always be a need for some level of residential care but the changing trends and desires of people must be taken into account too as we plan for the future. It is important that Trusts provide the best possible level of care alongside the need to change and modernise their services,” she concluded.