Belfast Telegraph

Forty residents of care home shut down by inspectors still in need of relocating

Health chiefs are trying to find new beds for about 40 residents of a care home which has been shut down by inspectors.

Ashbrooke Care Home in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, was ordered to shut its doors last Friday amid serious concerns over the risk to life, health and well-being of residents.

It is the first time Northern Ireland's watchdog, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has taken such immediate action.

A spokesman for the inspectorate said it expected the Western Health and Social Care Trust to find new placements, beds, homes and care packages for the residents as a priority.

The agency carried out an unannounced inspection of the home on the Old Tempo Road in Enniskillen last Wednesday and raised serious concerns about the care of residents, including personal care issues and weight loss management.

Bad smells were also noted by the watchdog along with defective equipment, f ire risks and concerns about staffing and a lack of clarity about management of the home.

Ashbrooke is operated by Runwood Homes, based in Essex. It operates 67 residential care homes across England and Northern Ireland. It was told on Friday the home's registration was being cancelled.

Olive Macleod, RQIA chief executive, said the unannounced inspection was arr anged after safeguarding concerns were received.

"We found systemic care failings and concerns in relation to the management of the home," she said.

"RQIA considered that there was a serious risk to the life, health and well-being of all those living at Ashbrooke Care Home, and that assurances from the provider were not sufficient to address the risks identified."

Ms Macleod added: "RQIA believes that everyone living in a nursing or residential care home is entitled to the highest standard of care.

"The ongoing safety and well-being of every patient and resident at this home is of paramount importance to RQIA."

Runwood Homes claimed it did not get prior notification of the closure.

It said an inspection in May found safe delivery of care.

The company said: "There has not, therefore, been any opportunity for Runwood staff to engage with RQIA to address any concerns that they had."

It added it was working closely withe the local trust to ensure residents are cared for.

Runwood said: "Ensuring that residents of Ashbrooke Care Home receive high quality nursing and residential care is of upmost importance to us."

Thirty-nine of the 40 residents in the home are clients of the Western Trust.

A spokeswoman said: "This is a very difficult situation and time for the residents concerned and their families.

"As an interim measure, the trust will work alongside the management of the home to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents which remains the trust's priority."

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