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Dunmurry Manor care home at centre of police probe threatened with action by watchdog three months ago

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Dunmurry Manor care home

Dunmurry Manor care home

Dunmurry Manor care home

Disgraced care home Dunmurry Manor was threatened with enforcement action over concerns for the safety of residents just three months ago, it can be revealed.

Northern Ireland's health watchdog carried out an inspection of the home, which has since been renamed Oak Tree Manor, in October after it received intelligence from the adult safeguarding team at the South Eastern Trust.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) summoned management of the home, which is currently at the centre of a police probe, to a meeting as a result of the two-day visit.

It can be revealed that concerns were raised that residents were being locked in their rooms and the potential for residents to cause harm to other residents.

The regulator planned to hand the firm that owns the home with a 'failure to comply' notice over the way it was being managed. However, it said it received sufficient assurances from management that it would take swift action to ensure the safety of residents there.

According to the inspection after the October visit to Dunmurry Manor, it was established that a number of untoward events had not been reported to the RQIA "in either a consistent of timely manner".

It continued: "The system in place for recording incidents in the home did not consistently record the level of detail required to assess the level of potential risk or harm to residents.

"It could not be evidenced that appropriate referrals had been made to other agencies.

"There was limited evidence of how concerns, discussions or referrals to the trust were recorded. Residents' care records did not provide consistent information regarding events which may affect their well-being. Access to care records by staff was not sufficiently secure to enable accurate records by staff to be made.

"The agreed process for handover of information between shifts was not consistently followed. There was no evidence of suitable management arrangements in the home during a recent period of planned leave of the acting manager.

"There was no residential deputy manager in post despite this being stated within the organisational structure for the home.

"There was no evidence of additional involvement or oversight from senior management during the acting manager's leave."

The inspection happened while Stephanie Shannon was acting as manager.

Ms Shannon was appointed to run Dunmurry Manor by Runwood Homes despite the fact she was the manager of a different care home when it was under police investigation. The RQIA was so concerned about the welfare of residents at Colinvale Court in west Belfast when Ms Shannon was manager that it issued 10 'failure to comply' notices, and a notice of proposal to impose three conditions on the home's registration was also issued.

She has since left the post of acting manager at Dunmurry Manor.

Details of the latest worrying inspection of Dunmurry Manor have come to light just a matter of weeks before the Commissioner for Older People publishes the latest part of his damning assessment of conditions at the home.

Eddie Lynch is due to update families at the end of this month after receiving responses from the likes of the RQIA over their response to the abuse and neglect that was endured by residents of the home.

The commissioner's report, which was published in June 2018, raised serious concerns over the way Dunmurry Manor was managed and highlighted harrowing conditions, including residents going weeks without medication or being left with horrific bed sores, resident on resident sex abuse and shocking weight loss of residents.

It emerged that health trust officials had concerns that the conditions at the home amounted to institutional abuse. Runwood Homes has come under fire numerous times in recent years as a result of the management of a number of its homes, including Dunmurry Manor, Kintullagh Care Home in Ballymena and Ashbrooke Care Home in Enniskillen where conditions were so dangerous that regulators closed the home with immediate effect following an inspection.

The company reopened the home in January last year under a different name, Meadow View.

Runwood Homes did not respond to a request for a comment.

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