Statement from North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister:-
“I welcome and support the Petition against the closure of Pinewood Residential Care Home in Ballymena and was very happy to help gather many signatures through my office. I trust the petition will be successful in thwarting the plan of the Health Minister and the Northern Trust to close it.
“It is ironic that DUP MLA, Paul Frew, presented this worthy petition to the Assembly given the complicity of his minister Poots in the closure campaign.
“Two vital and illuminating facts are now on the public record:
1. Minister Poots had prior knowledge of the Northern Trust’s plan to close 100% of its homes, including Pinewood. He did not intervene and allowed the decision to be made. He only intervened when the public furore over home closures was irresistible. 2. It is the Trust and department’s moratorium on new admissions which continues to implement their strategy for closure. Unless and until new admissions are permitted these homes will continue to be closed by stealth and so called consultations will be mere window-dressing.
“I, therefore, call on Mr Frew and everyone interested in saving Pinewood to pressurise Minister Poots to reverse the ban on new admissions. Yes, it is time to put the needs of Pinewood and other homes above political ideology and loyalities.”