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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 23 May, 2018
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Families 'very upset' as residents of nursing home to be removed over safety concerns

The HSE made the decision after an electrical report highlighted a number of risks.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

RESIDENTS OF A nursing home in Athlone, Co Westmeath are set to be relocated for health and safety reasons.

Helen McEntee, the junior minister with responsibility for older people, confirmed that residents of St Vincent’s Care Centre will be moved to alternative accommodation “on a phased basis over the next couple of days”.

McEntee said the HSE made this decision “on foot of an electrical report which highlighted a number of risks at the centre”.

The junior minister said the HSE told her is just a temporary measure, and extra staff will be deployed for the duration of the transfer.

Some 35 people live at the centre.

Local independent TD Kevin ’Boxer’ Moran told TheJournal.ie residents’ families are “very upset by the ordeal”.

RTÉ News is reporting that relatives of some residents have told the HSE they will not consent to them being removed.

‘Urgent situation’

In a letter McEntee sent to Moran, she wrote that employees and residents’ families were informed of “the urgency of the situation” last night.

She added that the centre will re-open “in the coming months”.

letter

A Hiqa report published today criticised the HSE’s failure to deal with overcrowding and privacy issues at the centre.

In a statement, the Department of Health said: “Communication with residents and staff began yesterday evening and will continue through the process.

“St Vincent’s Care Centre will re-open as soon as possible once the necessary refurbishment works are completed.”

A new 50-bed unit is expected to replace St Vincent’s by 2021.

Read: Irish family “loses everything” as fire rips through Italy holiday camp

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Órla Ryan

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