Only the determination of campaigners has ensured that some care homes have remained open,Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said.
He has called for a ‘transparent and fair review’ of the Health Department’s ban on statutory care home admissions.
Speaking after a recent meeting in Belfast in regard to the future of local care homes, including those in North Antrim, he said: “What we need to see from the Department is a review that is transparent and fair. The admissions ban has been unfair as it has lowered the number of people in local care homes and it has allowed the perception to be painted that there is no demand for places.
“We all know that this is not true and therefore rather than close these homes, the Board must give an opportunity to homes to carry out their role without admissions blockages.
“The announcement that no care homes will close before 2015 seems more like a stay of execution rather than the securing of any medium term future for these homes. That being said many of these homes could have been closed already and it is only down to the determination of campaigners that the Health Minister has been forced to do a u-turn.
“That campaigning work needs to continue and pressure must be mounted on the Board and the Minister to overhaul the totally unjust ban on care home admissions.”