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High Court

Nursing home brings High Court challenge over Hiqa finding which raised fire safety concerns

The challenge has been brought by JCP Powdermill Care Centre Ltd.

A NURSING HOME has brought a High Court challenge over a Hiqa report which raised fire safety concerns about the facility.

The challenge has been brought by JCP Powdermill Care Centre Ltd, which is based in Ballincollig Co Cork, against the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

Hiqa published a report where it made certain negative findings about the nursing home, including criticism of its evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.

The nursing home, which says the local fire brigade regularly inspects its premises, claims that the findings are flawed and that fair procedures in the process where Hiqa arrived at its final report were not followed.

In its judicial review proceedings, it seeks an order quashing the findings contained in the report, published on 1 October last. It also seeks an injunction requiring the report to be taken down from Hiqa’s website.

The report was published last October arising out of an unannounced inspection conducted by Hiqa conducted over two days in late May 2019.

The nursing home has brought its challenge on grounds including that it was not notified of all the allegations made by Hiqa against it and was not given an opportunity to reply to them.

It claims it should have been allowed to make representations to Hiqa, which it is also claimed should have heard evidence from witnesses called by the nursing home.

The nursing home also claims it was not given reasons for Hiqa’s findings and the report did not make reference to the framework that the facility must operate within.

The nursing home claims that the publication of the report, the findings of which have also been published in the media have had a negative impact on the business. It claims that it is now having difficulties in raising finance.

The court also heard that Hiqa wrote to the nursing home in September and stated that all fair procedures had been followed, that the home had availed of same, and that the final report would be published on 1 October.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis by Justice Charles Meenan. The judge made the matter returnable to a date in February.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Aodhan O Faolain