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Discussions ongoing over new provider at Belfast care home

Frail and elderly residents are being relocated over ‘ongoing concerns’ relating partly to management of a Covid-19 outbreak.

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Discussions with a potential new care provider at a crisis-hit Belfast home are ongoing, the health trust said (Peter Byrne/PA).

Discussions with a potential new care provider at a crisis-hit Belfast home are ongoing, the health trust said (Peter Byrne/PA).

Discussions with a potential new care provider at a crisis-hit Belfast home are ongoing, the health trust said (Peter Byrne/PA).

Discussions with a potential new care provider at a crisis-hit Belfast home are ongoing, the health trust said.

Frail and elderly residents are being relocated over “ongoing concerns” relating partly to management of a Covid-19 outbreak.

A recent watchdog inspection prompted urgent intervention at the 100-bed Clifton Nursing Home which caters for older people with dementia, Stormont health minister Robin Swann said.

A regulator of standards warned patients and staff could be put at risk of harm due to problems surrounding infection prevention.

A Belfast Health and Social Care Trust statement said: “Discussions are ongoing with a potential new provider and the Trust will continue to review the residents’ needs, with the full involvement of their families to inform ongoing care.”

Extra resources have been directed by the NHS towards nursing homes across Northern Ireland amid concern about the impact of coronavirus.

We understand this is a very difficult and upsetting time for residents and their families and for that, we are deeply sorryBelfast Health and Social Care Trust

The property at Hopewell Avenue near the Crumlin Road in the north of the city is part of Runwood Homes and has 100 beds.

Runwood Homes’ website describes itself as leading the way in care for older people across the UK, including those living with dementia.

The Trust added: “We understand this is a very difficult and upsetting time for residents and their families and for that, we are deeply sorry.

“We want to assure families that the care being provided in Clifton Nursing Home is safe today.

“The Trust is currently providing ongoing advice and has a team of senior nurses, multi-disciplinary staff and an infection prevention and control team overseeing care.”

An inspection of Clifton by Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) staff on May 15 identified concerns about governance, management and leadership.

Staff expressed worries about management.

On Tuesday, Mr Swann said negotiations with a new provider were “advanced” and could allow residents to stay in the home under the care of a new management team.

He added: “The department working on conjunction with the Trust, PHA and RQIA took the radical decision, the drastic decision that we actually did at the end of last week.

“So we weren’t slow to move when we saw the concerns that actually were being raised by the authorities we were in contact with people actually working in the home at that point in time.

“I have no doubt there will be local, national and international inquiries in regards to what actions were taken and when they were taken.

“That time is not now because we are still fighting coronavirus, we are still fighting it at a number of our homes across Northern Ireland so I think our focus should be there at this point in time.”

PA