The recent announcement that residential care homes will now remain open is good news for everyone. The voices of residents and their families have been heard and appropriate actions to rectify the situation taken which is welcome. Allowing residents to live the rest of their lives in the place of their choice is exactly what they told us when we visited homes and spoke to them. However residents and their families have been put through months of unnecessary worry and stress through the lack of clarity and inadequate communication. This must never be repeated. Elderly people must be treated with dignity and respect. People are now asking a very valid question: Will residential homes allow new admissions? This must be clarified immediately. People want a clear and unequivocal answer.
Lessons must be learned from the residential care homes dilemma where people have been left questioning the validity of transforming your care itself. Reassurance must be given to all patients and their families through meaningful involvement in the planning and delivery of all their future health care. The service must provide the Northern Ireland public with opportunities to fully engage and the public must then avail of these opportunities.
Leaders and decision makers in health and social care must have a clear vision of the future for residential homes and all other area of health and social care. This must always be shaped by patients and their families: one vision for health and social care in Northern Ireland that is shared by all. Everyone agrees that in theory transforming your care has merit but people need to see clear benefits before it is fully embraced.
We are an independent voice for people in Health and Social Care. You can contact us on 0800 917 0222.
Patient and Client Council