Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland and Health Minister, Edwin Poots have officially opened a new residential housing scheme in Omagh

06/10/2011

Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland and Health Minister, Edwin Poots have officially opened a new residential housing scheme in Omagh

The £2million Mulhern Close scheme provides purpose built accommodation for Western Trust patients who resided in long stay learning disability hospitals across Northern Ireland.

The facility includes three single storey clusters of domestic styled accommodation, each housing four residents. Each of the 12 residents has their own bedroom and en suite bathroom linked to communal kitchen, dining room and lounge facilities. Therapy and relaxation rooms and sleepover accommodation for care staff are also provided on site. Care is provided around the clock by Oaklee Care and Support Services.

Minister McCausland said: “Schemes like this make a huge difference to the daily lives of some of our most vulnerable people. They are a continuation of many years of inter-departmental working to shift away from long stay hospital accommodation to supported living in the community. Mulhern Close provides opportunities for residents to have a more independent lifestyle while still benefitting from continual care and support of dedicated staff.

“My department is committed to providing quality homes that meet the needs of the community and of the individual. This new scheme does just that. I look forward to continuing the close working relationship with Minister Poots and the health and social care sector that has made these transitions possible. I wish residents much happiness and contentment in their new homes.”

Minister Poots said: “This facility is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we work together for the good of our clients. In this case the Trust, Oaklee Homes Group and the two departments have combined their resources to allow these residents to live in beautiful surroundings which they can now call their own home.

“Improving services for those with a learning disability has been one of my top priorities since I became Minister for Health. And it continues to be so. I remain fully committed to helping people with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community. Facilities such as these at Mulhern Close which ensure that clients are at the forefront in the design and developments of the service are very much in keeping with my Departments policies. I congratulate all involved in what they have achieved here and wish all of them every success for the future.”

Chairman of the Western Trust, Gerard Guckian said: “Many aspects of the residents’ lives will be enhanced through the new facility. Mulhern Close provides a homely environment in addition to catering for residents’ day opportunities and therapeutic interventions. Western Trust staff, in collaboration with Oaklee staff, will work to support the individual needs of each resident and ensure their integration into community life. This is a real success story for resettlement in this area and the Trust is delighted with the opportunities it now provides in the Omagh and Fermanagh areas.”

Oaklee Care & Support Services Chairperson Jean Todd commented: “I am delighted today to be celebrating the opening our new care home in Omagh, with our colleagues from DHSSPS, DSD and the Western Trust. Mulhern Close will offer quality and modern residential care. I offer my best wishes to the present and future residents and hope they have many happy days in Mulhern Close.”