Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Glenside closure prompts union protest on Isle of Man

Staff and residents at an Isle of Man elderly care home that is due to close have staged a protest outside the House of Keys.

Around 40 people affected by the closure at the Glenside care home held up placards before handing a petition to Chief Minister Allan Bell.

In February, the government announced plans to close the facility by 2014.

A spokesman said the decision had been taken to help deliver the standard of care people want.

Glenside is one of four government-run residential homes on the island, and its closure will affect about 59 elderly residents and 64 staff.

Death worries

Regional industrial organiser for Unite, Steve Salter said he hoped the protest would show the government that many of his members "have concerns and that they need to listen."

"We have collected more than 1,000 signatures asking the Chief Minister to reconsider their proposals to close Glenside," said Mr Salter.

"We want to make sure the residents of Glenside are taken care of properly.

"I know the government is in a difficult situation, it does need to save money but there are better ways to do it."

Mr Salter also claimed that when a care home closure is announced, the uncertainty it creates can lead to a rise in deaths of elderly residents.

Chief Minister Allan Bell said: "These petitions are not unexpected. People are concerned when any changes take place however the change to Glenside is part of long term strategy by the Department of social care. The government has to make tough decisions."

Over the next two years, Glenside staff and residents will be consulted about future job prospects and care options, said the department.

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