Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Trust recommendations signal reprieve for Cloughreagh House

The future of Cloughreagh House residential home in Bessbrook appears more secure after the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Board (SHSCT) recommended the facility remain open and recommence permanent admissions.

On Thursday the Trust announced the findings of an extensive public consultation process on five statutory residential homes within the Southern area, one of which was Cloughreagh House.

The local consultation process is part of a regional review of Statutory Residential Care, which is being carried out by the Health and Social Care Board.  In agreeing the recommendations on the way forward, Trust Board members stressed that all permanent residents currently living in any of the Trust’s residential homes would be supported to live in their home as long as they choose to do so or until their needs could no longer be met within a residential care setting.  This commitment was made by the Health Minister in 2013, and while the Trust has made recommendations on the long term future of residential care, it does not change the care arrangements for current permanent residents.

The Trust Board recommendations are to be forwarded to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) for consideration although there will be no move to implement any part of them until such times as Ministerial approval has been given.

Paula Clarke, Trust Interim Chief Executive, said the recommendations set out a long term plan for statutory residential care in the Southern area.

“We know that residents are settled within our homes and that the quality of care is good.  However, the ways in which older people can be supported to remain at home has developed significantly in the last few years, and will continue to develop into the future. Our recommendations are looking at residential care in the long term, and how this would best be provided,” she said.

Acknowledging those who contributed to the consultation, she added: “We want to reassure all permanent residents that they can remain in their homes for as long as it is the best place for them. Our recommendations are very much focussed on the long term and we hope to work with local communities on further developing the care infrastructure and choices available to older people.”