Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Furious daughter of a 99-year-old woman in a care home earmarked for closure - 'Those who decided this can tell my mother that she's being evicted'

Thackeray Residential Home resident Letty Doherty (99) with her daughter Josie McCann. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 1.5.13

The furious daughter of a 99-year-old woman in a care home earmarked for closure has said that if health chiefs want to evict her mother, they can break the bad news to her themselves.

Letty Doherty has just celebrated her birthday surrounded by three generations of her family at her home in Thackeray Place, one of four residential homes earmarked by the Western Trust for closure.

The walls of this remarkable lady's room are bedecked with framed photographs that record the history of her life.

And the welcoming smile on Letty's face when she sees her daughter Josie McCann speaks volumes about how happy and content she is in this place that she has called home for four years.

Now Letty faces the trauma of being uprooted and moving somewhere new and unfamiliar – and there are 48 others at Thackeray Place in the same position.

So Josie and others are steeling themselves for the campaign to save Thackeray Place.

"The powers that be had better get ready for a battle because we intend to fight this all the way and we will not be compliant with their plans," Josie warned.

Letty initially went into Thackeray Place for a spell of respite care to help her recover from a bout of illness – but she was so enamoured by the facility and the staff that Letty wanted to stay.

Letty's daughter Josie raged against the Western Health Trust officials who brought chaos to their family on Tuesday with the news that they wanted to close four of their care homes – Thackeray Place, Rectory Fields, William Street and Greenfields.

She said: "I have decided not to tell my mother what has been proposed – so let those who have made this decision to evict her from her home come here and tell her themselves."

Those who attended the Trust's closure announcement at Thackeray Place left the meeting stunned, shocked and fuming with anger.

Josie lambasted the officials.

She explained: "I actually found out about the proposed closure from the Press which in itself is scandalous.

"One thing I did find very suspicious was that a member of the Western Trust was able to tell us that a private home near here has had planning approval for 50 new bedrooms. It makes me think this whole thing has been cooked up between them years ago and we have been the last to find out. But they may have bitten off more than they can chew this time."

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