The proposed closure of Ard Cluan care home in Londonderry is causing ’serious concern’ among residents and staff.
The care home’s operator, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), is planning to close both Ard Cluan in Londonderry and York House in Portrush with residents to be relocated to a redeveloped home in Garvagh.
PCI announced that they are planning to purchase the former Four Seasons care home in Garvagh and develop the facility with a £1.5 million investment.
However, their plans to relocate residents from Ard Cluan is causing serious concern, according to DUP MLA Gary Middleton.
Mr Middleton said: “I’ve been speaking to a number of Ministers and former Moderators and I’ve taken a call from Church House about the situation.
“Obviously I have expressed my disappointment that they have taken the decision to close Ard Cluan.
“There were rumours around the time frame but I’ve been told that it should be in March. I’ve said to them they need to reopen the debate with the Western Trust to look at other options in the Londonderry area for residents at Ard Cluan.
“They are close to the hospital here in Londonderry, at Altnagelvin, they are close to their GPs here in the Londonderry area and I don’t think it would be a good idea to be moving them to an area where they are a distance away from that and from their relatives.
“I proposed that the next step would be to approach the new Minister of Health, who should be appointed hopefully on Wednesday. I am confident another option can be found in Londonderry for the residents.”
To that end, PCI say they are to meet with residents tomorrow.
A spokesperson said: “We recognise genuine concerns that have been expressed by those affected, not least the residents, families and staff of Ard Cluan House.
“Representatives of the Church’s Council for Social Witness are meeting with the Presbytery of Derry and Donegal this week to discuss the situation and engage with them about the future.”