Belfast Telegraph

Enniskillen care home owner halts appeal over its closure

By Allan Preston

A decision to abandon an appeal against the closure of an Enniskillen nursing home has been welcomed.

Health inspectors shut Ashbrooke Care Home last August after discovering some of the worst conditions they had seen.

Runwood Homes has now halted its efforts to overturn the decision.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said it was unlikely the owners had any other option.

"It was extremely unfortunate that the situation got to the stage that it did," she said.

"It is important that care facilities are available for those in our community who need them.

"It is also vital that the facilities meet the needs of its residents.

"While the decision to close this home may have been necessary, I am very concerned that there is a shortfall of accommodation for those who require the care that such a facility can provide."

Sinn Fein MLA Colm Gildernew, the party's spokesman on carers, said it had been a "deeply challenging and concerning" time for residents and their families.

"It is just a pity that it has taken over seven months for us to get to this stage," he added.

"It would have been better if that time had been used addressing the problems rather than pursuing an appeal."

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) also welcomed the development.

The home had 40 residents and cared for elderly people and those with dementia.

Inspectors said the situation "was impacting on the dignity and safety of all patients".

The sudden closure left health trusts and families struggling to find alternative accommodation.

Belfast Telegraph

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