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Avondale nursing home taken over by HSE

Following a court order yesterday, residents are now being moved out of the nursing home by the HSE.

Image: John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

ANOTHER IRISH NURSING home has been closed down and put into the control of the HSE.

An interim order was made by Carlow District Court yesterday to cancel the registration of Avondale Nursing Home, Callan, Co Kilkenny, under the Health Act 2007.

The court order was secured by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the HSE was ordered by the court to take over the running of the centre and move the residents to suitable alternative accommodation.

The HSE said that its priorities at this time are to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Avondale’s 12 residents and work towards sourcing alternative accommodation for them.

The HSE acknowledges that this is a difficult time for the residents and their families, and would like to reassure them that their wellbeing is of paramount importance.

Marty Whelan of HIQA told TheJournal.ie:

We’ve had ongoing concerns in relation to Avondale Nursing Home for some time.

HIQA carried out two inspections of Avondale, one in September and one in October of last year and published those results on its website.

According to the report following those investigations, the centre accommodates female and male residents, aged 55 years and older.

Some require care for brain injuries, respite care, dementia specific care and rehabilitation.

The centre is owned by a limited company, Avondale Nursing Home Limited, and the registered provider is Miriam Holmes, director of nursing.

The report describes the home as “clean and well maintained,” “adequately governed” and residents and relations “were broadly content”.

However according to the report, Avondale Nursing Home failed to comply with the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2009 and the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland in a number of areas.

Inspectors were concerned that there was a lack of suitable staff at key times of the day and that there was a need for more adequate facilities for the fulfilment and recreation of residents during the day.

Some relatives and residents commented that staff were not as available as they could be to speak and interact with residents.

A resident was observed through an open door using the toilet in the assisted bathroom, which the inspector described as “undignified” and a violation of privacy.

At lunchtime, all residents observed wore long utilitarian bibs, which were also “undignified”.

The report also states that there were no organised activities on the days of the inspection; drugs were not stored securely; in a number of bedrooms television sets were placed on metal wall brackets and posed a danger; and staff did not appear to have enough time to interact with residents.

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