David Ford said: “There is considerable anxiety across the community about the consultation on the future of the five homes. They are Lisgarel in Larne, Greenisland House, Clonmore in Rathcoole, Rosedale in Antrim and Rathmoyle in Ballycastle.
“I believe that the Trust has a duty not only to ensure the best quality of care and treatment in its homes and hospitals, but also to explain to local people how this can be achieved. It is clear that many residents and their families have considerable concerns about their future and so far those fears have not been allayed.
“I know from my past experience as a Social Worker that many of these buildings are ageing and do not provide a modern environment; however, I also know that the care provided by the staff teams is second to none, and well appreciated by residents and their relations.
“The Trust must spell out much more clearly how they will continue to provide care for current residents and for those people who might require residential care in the future. This will require much more work in engaging with residents, the public and public representatives.
“At our meeting next week, Alliance Councillors from the affected areas will be keen to hear from the Trust Chief Executive about the plans for the future. We will be insisting on the continued provision of top quality care for those who are no longer able to manage in their own homes.”