21/08/2013

Elderly At 'Core' Of Residential Home Consultation - Poots

A consultation on the role of residents homes for older people is to consider the views of residents and their families in its findings, the Department of Health has announced.

This was the message from the Health Minister, Edwin Poots as he commented on the publication of the Health and Social Care Board’s Project Initiation Document on Improving Services for Older People.

Mr Poots said: "It is unacceptable that any older person should feel distressed because of proposals for change. I have been very clear that their needs, wishes and concerns should be at the core of this process going forward. I am assured that this process will ensure just that and the HSC Board will now begin a process of engagement with residents, families and staff. This will be followed by two periods of public consultation."

The Health Minister came under fire in May of this year, when it was announced that 18 NHS care homes would close, affecting 307 residents.

Some elderly people felt they had not been properly consulted.

Mr Poots then told health trusts to drop the policy and said closures would be handled by the Health and Social Care Board instead.

"The central aim of this process is to improve the quality of care for older people and deliver the best possible outcomes," he continued.

"I want to again send out a clear message to older people that there will be genuine consultation and their views will be heard. No one’s care will be put in jeopardy. I strongly encourage people to participate in the forthcoming consultations, the first of which will begin later this year."

(IT/CD)

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