Trust refuse to meet council over care home concerns

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THE Northern Health and Social Care Trust have refused to meet with Cookstown District Council over fears a town centre care home is to close.

Last month councillors vowed to fight any plans to close Westlands Residential Home following controversial proposals announced by the Health Minister.

A proposed £70 million overhaul of the health service has would see around 28 of the current 56 facilities shut their doors within five years, with job losses and at least 750 places being lost as a consequence.

The proposals place the Cookstown care home in jeopardy.

At Tuesday night’s full council meeting members were told that the Trust would be unable to meet council representatives while a Transforming Your Care consultation was ongoing.

The refusal has heightened fears over the future of the care home.

After voicing their disappointment at the Trust’s refusal, councillors voted to write to Health Minister Edwin Poots to challenge him on the issue.

This is not the first time Westlands has came under threat.

Shake up proposals announced by the Northern Trust five years ago put the future of the home in uncertainty because of its age. However elected representatives successfully fought off the plans.