Skeagh House earmarked for closure

Skeagh House, Dromore.
Skeagh House, Dromore.

Dromore’s Skeagh House has once again been identified for closure, according to Unison NI.

The union said that at Tuesday’s meeting of the Health and Social Care Board, proposals were approved to begin a consultation exercise to close over half of NHS Residential Care Homes in Northern Ireland.

Of the 19 Residential Care Homes in Northern Ireland, Skeagh House is reportedly among 10 identified for eventual closure.

A 12 week consultation will now be undertaken by the five Health Trusts over the summer months.

Recommendations will then go back to the Board for approval.

Unison said the proposal to close half of the Homes in Northern Ireland mirrored the recommendation for a 50% reduction in NHS residential care homes set out in the HSCB’s Transforming Your Care document of 2013.

Unison Regional Organiser Joe McCusker said: “Today’s decision by the HSCB will come as a relief to those residents and their families not affected by the closures.

“However, for those homes that are identified for closure this will cause distress and alarm for residents in those homes knowing that they will be the last residents, while the local communities will be outraged that there will be no NHS residential care provision in their area.

“UNISON has been at the forefront of the campaign against the closure of NHS Residential Care Homes and we will continue our fight in partnership with local communities, residents and families to keep the homes open.”

The other homes identified for closure are Northfield House in Donaghadee, William Street and Rectory Field in Derry, Roxborough House in Moy, Slieve Roe in Kilkeel, The Roddens in Ballymoney, Pinewood in Ballymena, Westlands in Cookstown and Chestnut Grove or Pine Lodge in Belfast.