Care Home Closures

Part of Question for Urgent Oral Answer — Health, Social Services and Public Safety – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:45 pm on 30th November 2015.

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Photo of Simon Hamilton Simon Hamilton DUP 3:45 pm, 30th November 2015

Unfortunately, I cannot give the assurance on jobs that the Member is looking for, because they are not my jobs to save or rescue in the way that he is asking me to do. These are people who are employed by Four Seasons. I look to Four Seasons to act as a compassionate employer in such circumstances and to do its best to relocate the staff to jobs elsewhere in the group. I think that it has made some indications that that is the intention. Staff are, primarily, the responsibility of the employer, but I think that we all would want to see them treated with dignity and respect. Equally, we want to see residents treated with dignity and respect and, as I said in response to other Members, moved, with minimal disruption, to appropriate accommodation close to where they currently live. I know that that will be challenging, but that is certainly the aim, and it is certainly what I will be ensuring that officials from my Department, and others within health and social care, ensure happens.