A LEADING healthcare trade union will picket a Health and Social Care Board meeting in Londonderry tomorrow (Thursday, September 12) over what it describes as ‘non-admission policies’ for care homes.
UNISON plans protesting outside the meeting at St Columb’s Park House, tomorrow morning at 10am.
At a Western Trust board meeting in May the health authority submitted proposals regarding the potential closure of residential care homes in the city.
Earmarked for potential closure were the Rectory Field and William Street care homes in Londonderry, Thackeray Place in Limavady and Green Field in Strabane.
The Trust subsequently rowed back on the decision.
Patricia McKeown UNISON Regional Secretary will address the HSCB tomorrow over the future of care homes.
UNISON contend that the whole consultation process is unfair and we would go further to say that if the non admission policy is not ended the Board will be overseeing a consultation process that is skewed and fundamentally flawed.
The Board have previously stated they did not know of such policies but also stated that if they were aware of any trust carrying out such a practice they would monitor them carefully and review the situation.
Tomorrow, UNISON Northern Health Branch will present evidence that the Northern Health Trust has indeed been carrying out such a policy and call on the Health and Social Care Board to lift the embargo on admissions to all homes in Northern Ireland.
Failure to do so will imply that the HSCB are intent on achieving only one outcome - to deliver a cuts agenda - with little regard for the wishes and desires of the staff in these homes, the relatives and, most importantly, our elderly residents who call these places home.
Earlier this year the Sentinel reported how there were 18 bids for private care homes across the North West between 2008 and 2012.