Care homes decision looms

HEALTH chiefs will meet on Friday to discuss the impact of responses to proposals to close residential care homes in the North West.

More than 500 responses and 5,000 signatures on petitions were received during the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s public consultation on proposals to review day care and residential care home provision for older people.

Another petition with 6,000 signatures was handed to the Assembly’s health committee last week.

Elaine Way, Chief Executive of Western Trust said: “There has been a tremendous response to the consultation including a number of petitions. The important job of assessing all the responses and analysing them begins now. The Trust will now take account of all the responses before making a recommendation to the Minister later this month.”

A consultation report will now be compiled, made up of all the comments and responses submitted to the Western Trust throughout the consultation period.

On March 20, the Board of the Western Trust will meet at a workshop to consider this consultation report, and on March 23, the consultation report and feedback from the Western Trust will be passed to Minister for his consideration before any final decisions are made.

Since launching the consultation in December 2008, the Western Trust has met with hundreds of people including residents, service users, relatives, staff, elected representatives, the public and other interested parties including four well attended public meetings.

It has also received almost 1,700 visitors to the website, received over 500 official responses and almost 5,000 signatures to date on petitions.

The Trust said it is also aware of an almost 6,000 signature petition given to the Health Committee last Mrs Way continued: “This extraordinary response shows just how much people care about the health and social care services they receive and we are pleased that so many people have taken part in the process.

“The Western Trust values public opinion when developing and shaping health and social care services.

“We will continue to engage with local people and deliver services that are fit for purpose and which ensure local communities have access to the very best care irrespective of where they live in the Western area.”

A final copy of the consultation report once produced will be available to download from the Western Trust website on