Coleraine DUP Alderman James McClure says that the focus must be put on ensuring a high level of round the clock care for the elderly in residential care.
Commenting on Health Minister Edwin Poots launch of the consultation on Transforming Your Care proposals, Alderman McClure urged local people to have their say on the future delivery of health and social care services.
He said: “The consultation document includes a number of proposals around the provision of statutory residential care.
“While more people are being supported to live independently in their own homes, the model of care would change to reflect a fall in demand for residential care for older people.
“The Minister states that this projection does not necessarily mean a reduction in residential homes provided by the independent sector and I agree that there will continue to be a demand for these services
“There are many homes providing services for older people and I am anxious to see that the standard of care for those living in homes is maintained, particularly at night which can be a trying time for staff as well as residents.”
Alderman McClure added: “Care of elderly people is now a national priority, and I welcome the fact that the quality of care delivered to patients is coming under increasing scrutiny through the use of explicit measures, quality indicators, which seek to judge the process of care against specific standards.
“We have a growing and ageing population and every opportunity to robustly explore the best ways of delivering care must be taken now.
“That is why it is vital that as many people as possible take the chance to have their views heard. It is vitally important and the onus is on us all to become involved in future health care planning.”