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Derry care home protest against proposed health cuts

Protesters against proposed cuts to a Londonderry care home have accused local politicians of failing the elderly and vulnerable.

Dozens of people wielding banners and flags protested outside Rectory Field residential home on Wednesday.

In August, the Western Trust announced it was considering merging Rectory Field with William Street Care Home.

The Western Trust has to make savings of £12.5m as part of £70m in cuts across the health service.

One protestor, who didn’t want to be named, said it was a worrying time for residents and their families.

“This will create a lot of distress for these elderly people,” said the protester.

“It must be a traumatic time for them at the minute.”

Workers were worried about their jobs, said Shaun Harkin, the local branch officer for the union Unison.

“It is so important that people speak out,” he said.

“The passivity from some of the political parties isn’t helpful.”

A spokesperson said the Western Trust understood the depth of feeling and concern about the savings plan proposals, which it would reflect in its consultation feedback report to the Department of Health.

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