Consultation on care homes is key - Kinahan
A LOCAL Assemblyman has led an adjournment debate in the Assembly calling on the Health Minister to review the process in which domestic homes are often converted to residential care units.
UUP MLA Danny Kinahan said that he had seen a growing trend of constituents coming to him with concerns that decisions are being made without consultation.
“It’s important to say from the outset that these residents are not opposed to care facilities opening in their areas; rather they are quite rightly angry that very often they hear nothing of it until people have moved in and there has been little or no consideration for basic services such as ensuring appropriate car parking,” Mr Kinahan said.
He added: “The Bamford Report was warmly welcomed by my Party and we are consistently calling for the Department to bring forward more of its main recommendations.
“Getting people out of long term care and integrating them into society is something we can all agree on.
“This is partly the reason why there are now houses being purchased by Health partnerships and subsequently being converted into long term accommodation for people with variable levels of need.
“Given the obvious benefits of reintegrating people into the community, allowing them to encounter the same home comforts that many of us often take for granted, it is all the more frustrating when I hear stories of the Department almost immediately ruining any goodwill by totally failing to communicate their intentions with local residents.
“Many residents are now finding themselves in an invidious position of witnessing neighbours’ homes being converted into residential care units without even so much as an information leaflet. It is not surprising then that local people grow suspicious of developments; even though in most circumstances they have nothing at all to fear.
“I think it is wonderful that more and more people, especially those with complex needs, are getting to experience living in small regular units. In the debate which I secured for Tuesday evening I told the Minister that careful consultation is required with everyone concerned; not least existing residents to ensure that if they have concerns they are put to ease.
“There appears to have been a breakdown in strategy somewhere along the process and I am now calling upon the Minister of Health, as well as those responsible for planning and finding accommodation for other vulnerable people to come together to ensure that people moving into these new units are given every opportunity available and get to live within warm and welcoming communities.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Antrim
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South east