Alex Easton MLA has held two meetings with the South Eastern Trust to get a better understanding of what they knew about the proposed closure of Stewart Memorial Nursing Home.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
I have had now met with the SE Trust on two occasions once by myself and second with my colleagues Jimmy Spratt MLA and Peter Weir MLA. The SE Trust only became fully aware that NIID planned to close the home in November 2014 and have confirmed that NIID have met the SE Trust recently and informed them that they have now suspended the closure. It was also quite clear from the meeting that at no time have NIID ever come to the SE Trust to say they were in financial difficulty and to ask for help with funding issues, it was also confirmed the SE Trust are willing to offer help to NIID to look at their business model and offer advice if NIID request it. It is now becoming quite clear that NIID need to take steps that will reduce the very small deficit they have which is only £40,000, and if there is a will to work with everyone they can achieve this. Steps that need to be taken are simple NIID need to start taking in permanent residents which the SE Trust admitted was a factor in NIID having a small deficit, they also need to look at their business Model and appoint an expert consultant to come in and have a look at the entire business structure. NIID also need to look at their client base and approach RQIA to register for different client bases to enable them to broaden the scope of residents take into Stewart memorial. There is also a need to reduce the use of Agency Staff which is costing double the amount that full time staff cost and they need to pay a better salary to attract nursing staff to work at Stewart Memorial. There is also a requirement to look to ensure that all residents are receiving all they are entitled by the SE Trust through regional rate system for their care needs. There is also a need for Management to be working a five day a week and to show they are on top of the issues and show they care about residents and for NIID to better market there facility through promoting Stewart Memorial Nursing Home which NIID have failed to do so. Through the SE Trusts own admission they believe that NIID can turn this situation round, and I am determined to ensure that NIID do all they can to keep Stewart Memorial Nursing Home open.” Ends: