Minister must act to save the Roddens care home in Ballymoney - Wilson

(file pic) A previous protest over the future of the home in Ballymoney. INBM51-15 043SC.

(file pic) A previous protest over the future of the home in Ballymoney. INBM51-15 043SC.

An urgent meeting is being sought with the Health Minister to prevent the closure of the Roddens care home in Ballymoney.

Councillor Darryl Wilson has challenged Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill “to do all in her power” to prevent such an outcome.

Along with his UUP colleague Robin Swann MLA who has raised the plight of Pinewood in Ballymena too, Mr Wilson has requested the meeting over what he sees as the Northern Health Trust’s continuation of an arbitrary “non-admissions’ policy”.

Councillor Wilson said: “Both the Roddens and Pinewood cares homes are very highly regarded for not only providing top quality care, but also a welcome source of local employment in the Ballymoney and Ballymena areas for many years.

“If they were to close, it would devastate the local communities and see residents cruelly being sent further away from their loved ones.

“The way that the residents and staff have been treated over recent years has been reprehensible. It is wholly misleading for health ministers to say the homes were ‘saved’ as the ban on new admissions means the number of residents in the two homes continues to decline.

“I now fear it is only a matter of time before the Health and Social Care Board in Belfast conveniently finds that their artificially low resident numbers make them ‘unsustainable’.

“I am entirely confident that the demand for all these care home places exist in the community, they just need to be allowed to take them up.

“The current Health Minister’s party previously had made a lot of noise when it was previously announced that the homes were to be closed. It is now time for Michelle O’Neill to step up to the plate and intervene to save these homes.

Mr Swann raised the matter in the Assembly this week when, he stated “she still failed to see the obvious necessities of keeping the Roddens and Pinewood open”.

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