Belfast Telegraph

Clean bill of health for 11 Runwood care homes in Northern Ireland

Shut down: Ashbrooke Care Home
Shut down: Ashbrooke Care Home
Claire Williamson

By Claire Williamson

Inspections have been carried out on all 11 care homes in Northern Ireland run by the owners of an Enniskillen facility that was shut down with immediate effect.

Ashbrooke Care Home, a 64-bed home for the elderly, was ordered to shut its doors last Friday by health authorities.

It was operated by Runwood Homes, which claimed it did not get prior notification of the closure and said that an inspection in May found safe delivery of care.

It's the first time Northern Ireland's healthcare watchdog the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has taken such immediate action.

It considered that there was a "serious risk to the life, health and wellbeing of all those living at Ashbrooke, and that assurances from the provider were not sufficient to address the risks identified".

It noted bad smells along with defective equipment, fire risks and concerns about staffing and a lack of clarity about management of the home.

RQIA carried out further unannounced visits at all of Runwood Homes facilities here at the weekend.

A spokesman said: "As a result of the concerns we identified at Ashbrooke Care Home, Enniskillen, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August, RQIA conducted unannounced care inspections at each Runwood Homes Ltd service in Northern Ireland.

"During our inspections of these 11 services, RQIA was satisfied with the quality of care delivery at these services." Health chiefs are now trying to find new beds for around 40 of the residents of Ashbrooke.

UUP MLA Rosemary Barton said there was "growing anger" in the area.

She said: "There appears to be varying support being given to relatives to help them relocate their relatives.

"Some have received excellent support from social workers while other families have set about the task of finding new accommodation themselves, with only very limited support from the Western Health and Social Care Trust."

Runwood Homes said: "We as an organisation are deeply saddened by the decision to close Ashbrooke Care Home and will do all in our power to ensure the transition of our residents to their new homes is as seamless as possible.

"The RQIA undertook focused inspections across all of our other Northern Ireland services since this decision was made and found no concerns."

Belfast Telegraph


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