A delegation of family members, residents and supporters of Ballymena’s Pinewood Residential Care Home have given leading social care administrators a first hand insight of their experiences.
Paul Frew DUP MLA for North Antrim headed the delegation to a meeting with Mr Kevin Keenan, Assistant Director Older People & Adults and his colleague, Mr Seamus McErlean, Commissioning lead for Older People & Adults, Health and Social Care Board.
Afterwards Mr. Frew said the main message driven home by the delegation was the need for the Pinewood to be enhanced.
He said that the Minister’s message of last week had made people ‘more determined than ever’ to see the services delivered in Pinewood expanded upon and enhanced .
Mr. Frew explained: “Pinewood delivers three services very well. We have the residential element which is the most important of course but it also provides for rehabilitation and respite which are essential elements of care that are much needed in the Ballymena area .
“My main aim now of course is to apply pressure on the trusts to lift their non admissions policy. This is vital to the future of residential care in the Ballymena Area. There is absolutely no good reason why the Northern Trust should have this policy in place when other trusts in Northern Ireland do not have it in place and when there is such demand for it in the Ballymena area.”
Mr. Frew said the delegation was told that the Health & Social Care Board ,which is different from the Trust , and who have been tasked by the Minister to conduct the review into Statutory Care homes, will bring their findings to a full board meeting in June.
He said: “I will not be waiting until June , I am organising a meeting with the Northern Trust to apply pressure on them to lift the non admissions policy and allow their staff members to discuss the option of Pinewood when talking about residential care , rehabilitation and respite.”