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Concerns raised over migrant home care workers

20th July 2006

A local community has called for better checks when recruiting migrant home care workers.

Residents of Dromore in Northern Ireland have demanded improvements in communication and "limited" vetting procedures from the local authority, reports the Dromore Leader.

Recruitment among nationals has become more and more difficult and so migrant workers are increasingly employed in these roles.

However, the residents are concerned that background checks are more difficult to do on those from foreign countries – potentially putting the most vulnerable at risk.

They have also said that providing a source of communication is one of the most important roles a home care worker fulfils, particularly for the elderly, and raised the concern that language barriers may be leading to a poorer standard of care.

"I hope the trust will respond positively to these concerns and will address the issues that have been raised on behalf of the families," Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson told the paper.

He continued: "I accept the trust has had difficulties in recruiting local staff but nevertheless we can't have our elderly people put in a vulnerable position."

Craigavon and Banbridge Community Trust Primary and Elderly Care director Roisin Burns responded: "The trust benefits from having people of different nationalities within its own workforce and also welcomes Home Care Northern Ireland's diverse workforce."