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Dungannon care home criticised for bus trip during lockdown took two excursions


A Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation is under way

A Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation is under way

A Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation is under way

A second bus trip took place during lockdown at a Co Tyrone care home, it has emerged.

Dungannon Care Home has closed again to visitors after two staff members tested positive for the virus in recent days.

The development came as it emerged the Four Seasons Health Care facility, which was heavily criticised for taking residents on a bus-trip during lockdown, ran two trips, not one as originally understood. This was at the height of the Covid-19 surge and after an outbreak had been declared in the home.

A Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation is under way.

The second trip occurred the day after the first, which neither the home, its owner nor the Southern Trust pointed out when quizzed at the time.

Instead, it was disclosed in a letter sent to relatives of all residents on September 2 advising of the SAI investigation into "bus outings on May 7 and 8 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic."

A Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) report states an inspection was conducted on the basis of "information in relation to an alleged breach of lockdown rules which raised concerns in relation to the management of Covid-19."

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It does not state this took place almost two months after concerns were first raised and repeatedly rejected by all agencies, including RQIA. Acceptance only came after images proved concerns were justified.

A short reference to the breaches in the report reads: "This was discussed with the manager who advised an investigation was being carried out by the Southern Trust.

"The outcome of the investigation will be shared with RQIA. The manager confirmed there had been learning with regards to the experience and Infection Prevention Control risks during Covid-19."

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Health Care said: "Two staff who have tested positive are isolating. The Public Health Agency classifies any incidence of more than one case as an outbreak so that would apply in this case. Visits, which were being facilitated in a carefully managed way, are now suspended."

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