Nursing home cuts – “ inhumane and outrageous”

The decision by the Western Health Trust to cut nursing home places “is a direct attack on the elderly and the vulnerable” according to Domhnall O’Cobhthaigh, Fermanagh Socialist Party representative.

“A BBC report has indicated that there is serious rationing of nursing home places by the Western Health Trust – this means that every month only 2 new nursing home places in the entire Western Region are to be offered to elderly people who need them. The decision means that patients cannot be given nursing home places despite the fact that the Trust has empty beds to accommodate them.”

“Elderly people who have worked all their lives and who have paid tax and national insurance are treated appallingly. Some are sent home to die to save money; others are forced to live with only 15 minutes support a day when they need much more. Families already struggling with the consequences of the economic collapse are being forced to look after sick and highly-dependent relatives.”

“The consequences of this inhuman approach are outrageous. At the same time, cuts have forced the Trust to reduce care packages for elderly or sick people in their homes and those that receive care get a completely inadequate amount. The consequences are that elderly people are being queued up in the Erne Hospital and blocked needed beds there.

Assembly Executive responsible for cuts

Mr O’Cobhtaigh blamed the Assembly Executive for the cuts “This report brings home the real impact of the ‘efficiency’ cuts that were unanimously agreed by all the Assembly Executive four years ago. And they will seem paltry to the cuts that are coming in the near future.

“The cuts which the Assembly Executive is carrying out should be met with an organised opposition from local communities, workers, the unemployed and young people. The politicians should be told to go after the rich and the bankers and make them pay instead of carrying out cuts to crucial services.”

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