King Edward VII Hospital. *File photo.
King Edward VII Hospital. *File photo.

The Health Minister has assured staff from Continuing Care Unit that 'under no circumstance' would they be just put out of a job.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin has already said that the unit is 'no longer fit for purpose' but no timescale has been set for its closure.

Today she told the House of Assembly that patients would be accommodated in a dignified, safe and appropriate environment in the event of the unit shutting.

Her comments came after a handful of staff took part in a protest march yesterday to raise concerns about the future of the CCU at King Edward VII Hospital.

Ms Gordon Pamplin said: "Meetings will be held with interested stakeholders to determine how capacity may be provided to ensure that our seniors are accommodated in a dignified, safe and appropriate environment.

"This government is not prepared to allow our seniors to continue to reside in an environment that needs major overhaul. The reality is that the building which houses the CCU is stated to be some 90 years old, and it is no longer fit for purpose.

"Planning for the future is the prudent and pragmatic approach, and in the course of such planning, the first thing that must be determined is how our seniors can be transitioned from a facility which is not appropriate into better surroundings.

"This plan is still in the very early exploratory stage. In fact, next week is the first joint meeting that will be held to examine feasibility.

"I would like for the staff at the CCU to know that under no circumstances will they be just put out of a job.  I am as concerned as they are to ensure that they are not displaced, and that any alternative plan will have both staff and patients included at the heart of the equation."

She added: "There are no secrets; there will be no withholding of information, as this situation affects all of us."