Belfast Telegraph

Ex-boss of disgraced Northern Ireland care home gets £17.2m pay-off

Logan Logeswaran stepped down as managing director of Runwood Homes last year as an independent investigation uncovered a litany of devastating failings at one of its homes here, Dunmurry Manor
Logan Logeswaran stepped down as managing director of Runwood Homes last year as an independent investigation uncovered a litany of devastating failings at one of its homes here, Dunmurry Manor

By Lisa Smyth

The former boss of a care home operator at the centre of a police probe into allegations of abuse was handed a £17.2m payout after he resigned.

Logan Logeswaran stepped down as managing director of Runwood Homes last year as an independent investigation uncovered a litany of devastating failings at one of its homes here, Dunmurry Manor.

Criticisms levelled at the firm by the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland (COPNI) included how it had provided cheap, low quality incontinence pads for residents, and staff had to buy their own blood pressure monitors as the ones provided by Runwood Homes were broken.

However, it has now emerged Mr Logeswaran walked away with an eye-watering payout.

According to figures filed with Companies House, Mr Logeswaran resigned in August last year and was the highest paid director for the year ended September 30, 2018.

Julieann McNally, whose grandmother lived at the home, said she is horrified by the latest revelation.

"Every time you think things can't get any worse with Runwood Homes, you find out something else," she said.

"I almost can't believe it, I am so angry.

"We heard about there not being enough staff, staff having to buy their own equipment, Runwood Homes providing the cheapest things possible.

"One of the chefs from Dunmurry Manor has spoken out about the tiny budget he had to try and feed residents and then we hear figures like this - it's horrific."

Logan Logueswaran
Logan Logueswaran

Commissioner Eddie Lynch was scathing in his assessment of conditions at Dunmurry Manor when he published the findings of his investigation in June last year.

Police subsequently launched a criminal investigation, which is still ongoing.

On the day the report was published Runwood Homes issued a statement announcing Mr Logeswaran had resigned from the company the day before, linking his departure to the report.

"The board of directors acknowledge and take full responsibility for these failures and the lack of oversight that could have ensured they did not happen," it said.

"The managing director, Logan Logeswaran, has in fact resigned his position from Runwood Homes Group UK as of yesterday."

However, Mr Logeswaran denied this was the case and said he had always been planning to leave the company.

Runwood Homes subsequently said Mr Logeswaran's departure had nothing to do with the COPNI report.

It further claimed that he had left the company in good standing.

The firm has repeatedly refused to explain its original statement.

In September last year the Belfast Telegraph revealed that the health service had paid out almost £44m to Runwood Homes in just three years.

The disgraced firm raked in the staggering sum despite repeated claims by health trusts, residents' relatives and even its own staff that conditions in a series of its homes were unsafe and undignified.

Runwood Homes has repeatedly hit the headlines here and in England for failing to meet basic safety standards.

In April it emerged that one of its homes, Clifton Nursing Home in north Belfast, had been caught using communal net underwear seven months after it was told to cease the practice.

An inspection by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) also uncovered failings in the way pressure-relieving mattresses are used.

In January it emerged that the RQIA had found a series of problems at Kintullagh Care Home in Ballymena during an inspection in October last year.

Issues included staff shortages and the way this was managed, and failings relating to infection control and fire safety measures.

Meanwhile, also in January, the RQIA came under fire when it emerged that Runwood Homes was planning to reopen Ashbrooke Care Home in Enniskillen under a new name.

Meadow View residential care home opened at the start of this year in the same building where Ashbrooke Care Home operated until August 2017.

The home was shut down by the RQIA after a visit by the watchdog uncovered "catastrophic" failings that were so serious they were deemed to pose an immediate risk to the lives of residents.

No Runwood Homes in Northern Ireland are currently under any sanctions by the health regulator here.

However, three Runwood homes in England are in special measures, according to the Care Quality Commission, and seven "require improvement".

Gordon Sanders, whose background is in property development, bought Runwood for £60,000 in 1988 and is thought to be worth around £150m.

Runwood Homes did not respond to a request for comment.

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