Limavady Borough Council’s explanation for failing to respond to recommendations for widespread care home closures has unravelled further.
The Sentinel recently revealed that despite current expressions of support for Thackeray Place care home in Limavady - one of those facing closure thanks to recommendations made in the healthcare plan known as ‘Transforming Your Care’ - the local council made no contribution whatsoever when views were being sought.
When asked for an explanation for their failure to respond to Transforming Your Care, which called for the closure of “at least” half of all public sector care homes, a spokesperson for the council said they had “no record of ever having received the invite to respond.”
However, the Sentinel can reveal that both Chief Executive of Limavady Borough Council Liam Flanigan and former Mayor Sean McGlinchey were amongst those sent an invite to respond on October 10, the first line of which read: “I would like to invite you to participate in the public consultation process for Transforming Your Care.”
Despite the council’s assertions that they have “no record” of any invite, this newspaper has now obtained the date the invite was sent, the invite itself and a comprehensive list used by the Health and Social Care Board of every address the invite was sent to.
The list includes both the addresses of former Mayor Sean McGlinchey and Chief Executive Liam Flanigan, as well as the first email address given by the council on their website. The invite was from none other than John Compton, HSCB Chief Executive and the man who led the review of health services in Northern Ireland which lead to Transforming Your Care.
Furthermore, despite the local council’s explanation that they had “no record of any invite” for their failure to give any views, leaflets had been distributed to well over 700,000 houses - as close to every single house in Northern Ireland as could reasonably be expected - highlighting the public consultation into Transforming Your Care and inviting responses.
Around £89,000 had been spent by the Health and Social Care Board to promote participation. A total of 16 widely publicised public meetings were held across Northern Ireland. A further 26 meetings were held with ‘stakeholders.’ A website which attracted thousands of visitors had been set up specifically to promote the consultation. The media, from the BBC and UTV to local newspapers throughout the province, dedicated sizeable resources to covering Transforming Your Care.
There were 19 district councils across Northern Ireland who did submit views. Meanwhile in Limavady, the consultation into Transforming Your Care was never tabled for disccussion at the local council.
Now that the axe is looming over a residential care home in Limavady, however, the council has expressed their “support” for Thackeray Place.