Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Downgrading and Closure of Day Centres

Published: 14 April, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has expressed his frustration at proposals by the Western Health and Social Care Trust to downgrade day centres in Belcoo and Garrison.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said:

"I have been contacted by a number of people who are dismayed at this proposal to downgrade two well used day centres in Belcoo and Garrison, which provide a vital service to people who live in this part of Fermanagh.

"They will effectively become lunch clubs for people without care needs. Anyone needing care in any way will have to travel to Derrygonnelly for social interaction, a prospect most elderly people do not want.

"We are constantly being told that the health service want to support people to live at home and in their own community. However, this proposal flies in the face of that as more and more people will stay at home and live in isolation as a result of these changes.

"If the Western Trust and those involved in commissioning health and social services were serious about supporting people to live at home, then they would properly invest in home help provision, protect the meals on wheels service and encourage people to make use of these valuable day centres.

"Instead they are reducing expenditure on each of these vital services, which ultimately save money in the long run by keeping healthy people out of hospitals and care homes.

"There are currently spaces available in the day centres and I would encourage people to avail of these places to show that there is demand for this service.

"Along with Councillor Anthony Feely, I met with day centre users in Garrison last Friday who expressed their opposition to this proposal and who are resolute in their efforts to retain the current service.

"There is another meeting in the day centre in Belcoo this Thursday at 2pm and I would appeal to people with an interest in this matter to attend this meeting and to response to the Western Trust's public consultation on these changes."