Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Residents evacuated over wall fears

Care home residents in Co Down have been moved over fears a wall could collapse

All 17 residents of a Co Down care home have been evacuated over fears that a nearby wall could collapse.

They were moved after a landslip at a row of homes to the rear of the state-run Skeagh House in Dromore.

Of the residents moved on Wednesday night, five went to family homes, six have been transferred to a state care home in Banbridge and the other six were relocated to private care facilities in Dromore, Banbridge and Newry.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: "Builders and engineers currently assessing landslip damage to a row of houses directly behind Skeagh House in Dromore have advised that a retaining wall to the rear of the home is at risk of collapse. As a precautionary measure, the Southern Trust was advised on Wednesday to relocate all 17 residents."

She said Skeagh House accommodated 11 permanent residents, four respite residents and two intermediate care residents.

The spokeswoman said: "The safety and well-being of each of the residents is our priority and we can advise that by early Wednesday evening, all seventeen residents were relocated.

"The trust worked with the residents and their families and other homes to identify suitable alternative accommodation and to ensure the residents transfer from Skeagh House went smoothly and with minimal disruption.

The spokeswoman added: "Both the residents and their families were most accommodating and understood the trust's necessity to evacuate the home and keep the residents safe.

"Key workers will be in contact with all residents today to ensure that they are well following their relocation and all of their families are being kept informed of the situation."

A full risk assessment is being undertaken at the home to establish how long it will be before the residents can return.

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