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Health Minister offers up pledges during Armagh visit

NO-ONE with a learning disability or other health needs should continue to live in hospital unless they are receiving treatment.

That was the key message delivered by Health Minister Edwin Poots as he met staff and residents at Amore Care Apple Mews Bungalows in Armagh today (Wednesday).

Apple Mews is a purpose built registered nursing home development within the city of Armagh. There are five bungalows offering modern living for residents previously in long term institutional care (mainly in Longstone hospital).

The Minister said: “Making a difference to the lives of all in our society, and especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, remains a firm priority for me.

“I am very interested to see at first hand the range of different facilities which have been established to offer a new home, and a new life, to former patients of learning disability hospitals.

“It is consistent with the principles of better health outcomes, and integrated working as outlined in Transforming Your Care, and documents like Bamford’s “Equal Lives” which preceded it.”

During his visit the Minister was given a tour of the new facility which offers each resident their own bedroom with overhead hoists if required and en-suite facilities. There are communal living, dining and kitchen areas, where residents are encouraged to spend time together with each other and be involved in a daily routine. Two bungalows are operational, caring for 12 adults, recently resettled from Longstone Hospital.

The Minister concluded: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to tour Apple Mews and meet with its residents and staff. This is an excellent facility which gives those living here the opportunity of a supportive community with dedicated staff and high standards of care, while still enjoying their freedom and independence.

“I have also been extremely impressed by the efforts to create a friendly, homely atmosphere and I congratulate the management and staff for their work to achieve this in what comes across as a lovely place to live.”

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