STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE Northern Ireland Institute for the Disabled (NIID)
PLEASE NOTE – The NIID will not be making any further public comment on the launch of the consultation process.
Friday 10 July 2015
The Northern Ireland Institute for the Disabled (NIID) has launched a formal 10-week consultation process aimed at exploring the future of its facility at Stewart Memorial House, Bangor. It will run until 5pm on Thursday 17 September 2015.
Acting Chief Executive Maurice Goodwin said the charity was approaching the consultation process with an ‘open mind’ but it could not continue to sustain ‘significant losses’ associated with the running of Stewart Memorial House which over the past 11 years had totalled around £2.4m.
The formal consultation process follows the placing on hold of an initial decision to close the facility in November 2014 to allow time for options other than closure to be explored.
“We are acutely aware this is a difficult and sensitive time for residents, families, staff and others associated with Stewart Memorial House. For many years the Trustees have been torn between whether they should be influenced by their hearts or their heads. However, the financial position is now so grave the position needs to be comprehensively addressed. The Trustees have no desire at all to close the facility, but cannot jeopardise the overall financial viability of the NIID and, by definition, other important elements of its service that include facilities at Stricklands Bay, Bangor and Utility Street, Belfast. The 2014 deficit for Stewart Memorial House was £511,000 meaning the NIID has been subsidising the nursing unit at SMH to the tune of almost £10,000 per week. The charity is simply unable to continue to provide this level of subsidy.”
“Until a final decision is made on the future of SMH the Board of Trustees and senior management team continue to ensure that the nursing unit at SMH is well managed and resourced and that the highest standards of quality care are provided for the residents.”
Copies of the consultation document may be obtained from the NIID website (www.niid.co.uk) or from Maurice Goodwin, Acting Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Institute for the Disabled, Downshire Road, Bangor, BT20 3RD.