The Health and Social Care Board has approved final criteria to be used by the Western Trust to assist decision making about the role and function of statutory residential care homes including Rectory Field, William Street, Thackeray Place and Greenfield.
The criteria are: Quality of Care; Availability and accessibility of alternative services; and Best use of public money.
The Board and Local Commissioning Groups (LCG) will now prepare a needs assessment for older peoples’ services in each LCG area to form the context within which the evaluation of the future role and function of statutory residential care homes will be made.
Trusts will be asked to evaluate the future role and function of their statutory residential care homes for older people against the criteria.
For those homes where no significant change to the service is planned in the near future the Trust will be asked to review their position on permanent admissions to ensure optimum use can be made of the facility.
Fionnuala McAndrew, Acting Chief Executive with the Board said: “It is important that Trusts provide the best possible level of care alongside the need to change and modernise their services, if this is required. In our report we have made proposals which have taken account of both of these issues.
“I want to thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation, either through meeting with Board representatives, writing or filling in a consultation form. I would particularly like to thank the residents and their relatives for taking the time to meet with me during visits to the homes.
“I would like to reassure everyone who participated that we have carefully considered their views which were central to producing this report and developing the final criteria. Their involvement was invaluable and will help us all make better decisions for the future needs of our growing and ageing population in Northern Ireland.”
The trade union Unison recently called on HSCB to ‘face up to its responsibilities.’
Joe McCusker, Regional Organiser said: “The Board must also set out a robust admissions policy for the residential homes that restores them to the vibrant life and care residents and their families deserve and expect.”