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

The Members is right; there is an important distinction. It is important that we follow that distinction through in terms of the question that he has asked about moving people with complex nursing needs into a residential care home. That would not be appropriate, particularly for those who have very, very complex needs. They would not get the standard of care that we all want to see them get. So, we need to be careful and mindful of the fact that the statutory residential care homes are not a solution for those who have complex nursing care needs. However, that does not mean that there may not be opportunities elsewhere in the state sector, or, indeed, the independent sector, to look after those who have complex nursing needs. That is why I think it is important to emphasise that we want to see these residents get the appropriate care that they need — in most cases, that will be nursing care — and to try to get that as close to their current location as possible. That is certainly what we will be working to, but it is not going to be a matter of moving people who have complex nursing care needs into residential care homes. That would not be right for them, and it would not be something that we could stand over with regard to quality.