West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer opposes plans to close Gortin Daycare Centre

Published: 20 October, 2015

Declan Mc Aleer MLA briefing the chair of the Assembly's Health Committee, Maeve Mc Laughlin MLA on the Western Trust's proposal to close Gortin day care centre

Declan Mc Aleer MLA briefing the chair of the Assembly's Health Committee, Maeve Mc Laughlin MLA on the Western Trust's proposal to close Gortin day care centre

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has expressed deep concern that the Gortin Day care centre is to be closed before a proper evaluation of the services has been carried out.

Following a meeting with the Western Health and Social Care Trust Mr McAleer said,

"I am concerned that the closure of Gortin Day Care Centre will not only affect the people who avail of the service but will actually be an added economic burden on the taxpayer.

"Along with other MLA's, I met with Chief Executive of the Trust and was totally surprised to hear that an assessment of additional domiciliary care and transport needs of the users has yet to be carried out, despite a decision being made to close the centre.

"The cost of the centre excluding wages is just under £5000 per year so I fail to see how this figure can meet the new transport costs as well as the domiciliary costs associated with moving the users to Newtownstewart, as well as dealing with those who opt for home care.

"I have requested a dedicated meeting with the Chief Executive of the Trust and along with others; I intend to fight this proposal. This decision affects all sections of the community so we need a united political and community approach in order to have maximum impact.

"I have shared my concerns with the Chair of the Assembly's Health Committee and the Fermanagh-Omagh Council has passed a motion opposing the proposals. I will also be bringing forward an adjournment debate in the Assembly at the earliest opportunity.

"The local community is working on a petition which has garnered hundreds of signatures so far.

"The Gortin day care service is a crucial social outlet for older people in this rural community and we must do everything in our power to protect it. The Trust must hear loud and clear that the community is not prepared to accept these ill thought out proposals".