Moyle Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane has slammed the five party Stormont Executive after the latest closure in the Moyle area – this time Rathmoyle Residential Care Home. The announcement comes following a lengthy and protracted process that could ultimately result in the closure of all nine Residential Care Homes in the Northern Trust area.
“I spoke with staff this morning following their meeting with Northern Health & Social Care Trust officials. They have been told that between November of this year and January of 2014 the building will be closed and Residents moved on to alternative accommodation.
“Some have spoken movingly of the clients they have worked with over the years. All have voiced their concern about what will happen to the clients. They fear inadequate levels of care will be provided for them in the future.
“Concern among the staff regarding their future is also palpable. With many unable to travel due to our poor public transport network here in Moyle they feel the promise of no voluntary redundancies rings hollow. Many expect to be forced, by circumstances beyond their control, into taking a redundancy package”.
Unison has claimed all nine residential care homes operated by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust are set to be closed. The union said it expects two homes – Pinewood in Ballymena and Westlands in Cookstown – to close in November, followed by Rathmoyle in Ballycastle next January.
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane continued;
“No one party can be blamed for the savage cuts we are witnessing here in Moyle. While the DUP hold the Ministry on Health it is the five party Executive that sets the budgets for all Ministerial portfolios. While the main Parties will point to ‘no cuts to the Health budgets’ in recent years, in real terms the budget has been reduced by over ten percent due to inflation. The Chief Executive of the Northern Trust confirmed this point to me when questioned recently.
“The Executive has become a ‘monolith’ with no effective accountability. Moyle on Health alone has lost the x-ray facility in Dalriada, Rathmoyle Residential Home, Rathmoyle Day Care facilities are under serious threat and are sure to meet the same fate and of course the M.S. respite facility in Ballycastle.
“The Glens has taken a hammering also with ambulance provision being attacked, Glenmona adult day care being reduced and both Ballycastle and Cushendall have Fire Stations not fit for purpose.
“All the while local representatives of the five main parties will bemoan the decline of Health Care Service Provision while failing to comprehend their active part in closing and removing the facilities. I believe the local Councillors fail to grasp their roles in the removal of services and have a genuine, if somewhat deluded, concern.