West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Boyle welcomes Minister's reversal decision to close Greenfield and other Care Homes

Published: 7 May, 2013

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle has welcomed to the decision by Heath Minister Edwin Poots to the reverse the proposal to close Greenfield and other care homes across the north

She said,

"The Minister's reversal decision has been met with great relief not least by the residents of our local Greenfield home in Strabane and their relatives. The ham-fisted manner in which the Trust's attempted to ram through the wholesale closure of care homes for the elderly spread untold fear and uncertainty among residents and the Friday's announcement by the Minister is something he should have done from the beginning of this fiasco.

"However, the Minister has said that the responsibility for the Care Homes proposals will now be taken from the Trusts and will be taken forward directly by the Department so there is every possibility that we will be seeing re-vamped proposals from the Minister down the line.

"So while any imminent threat to Greenfield and other homes appears to have receded, it is imperative that any new proposals that are brought forward and any new subsequent consultation process ensures the full involvement of those it directly affects, both residents and their families, and ensures that their views and wishes are fully taken on board.

"Given that it was the massive public outcry that forced this u-turn from the Minister, it is clear that any new proposals that he now brings forward will be subject to the most intense scrutiny and, because of this, any renewed attempt to privatise residential care services for the elderly through the back door will be even more transparent and even more stoutly resisted.