Care Home Closures

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

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Photo of Chris Lyttle Chris Lyttle Alliance 3:30 pm, 30th November 2015

I thank the Minister for his update, but given that we have had warnings of crisis in the care sector for some considerable time and people have cited declining trust aid, rising staffing costs and a shortage of nurses as main reasons to point towards a lack of adequate long-term planning and sourcing for care, should we conclude that the Minister has been caught asleep at the wheel on this issue? Most importantly, having met staff and residents at care homes whose primary concern is the impact that closures will have on the residents' health and well-being, I ask what options the Minister can actively pursue to avoid a need for residents to leave their homes, to prevent the detachment from staff on whom they rely and, at the very least, to limit the damage that that dislocation is going to cause for vulnerable people in our community, many of whom are dementia care patients?