Belfast Telegraph

Derry care home admissions closed amid fears over medicine management

Owen Mor nursing home has been shut to new admissions by the regulator
Owen Mor nursing home has been shut to new admissions by the regulator
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A health watchdog has made an unprecedented move to use its powers to shut a nursing home in Londonderry to new admissions after it failed to implement recommendations on medicine management.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) carried out inspections of Owen Mor nursing home in May and June. Following this the Western Trust decided not to permit new admissions but lifted this restriction in July.

However, during a further visit by the RQIA, inspectors were so concerned that they over-ruled the trust and closed the facility to new admissions.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: "In mid-July the trust gave approval to the management of Owen Mor to reopen to admissions in a phased manner.

"For the trust, this was an important test of their ability to demonstrate they were able to ensure and then sustain the required improvements throughout the home in advance of the anticipated re-inspection in August, and a decision we indicated to the RQIA that we were undertaking.

"No residents have been placed at increased risk as a result of this decision. The close working between the home and the trust has continued to enable standards of care at the home to steadily improve.

"As the RQIA has indicated, while some areas within the home are working effectively, it's important that we continue to work together to ensure this is achieved and sustained right across the facility."

The RQIA said inspectors found a number of areas of concern, particularly with regards to staff knowledge, competency and understanding of safe practice in the management of medicines. A spokesman said: "Given the serious nature of our concerns, on August 16 we were successful in obtaining an order to place conditions on Owen Mor Care Centre with immediate effect.

"These include: closing the home to further admissions; immediate arrangements to assess the competency and capability of registered nurses in the safe administration of medicines; and rapid strengthening of management and governance arrangements at Owen Mor.

"This service remains under enforcement action and the RQIA will continue to monitor this service closely to secure the necessary improvements."

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