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Care home forced to close as it poses a 'serious risk to the life' of residents

The care home regulator has closed a home in Northern Ireland after it said it posed ‘a serious risk to the life, health and wellbeing’ of residents.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) took the step on Friday after its inspectors made an unannounced visit to Ashbrooke Care Home in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, earlier in the week.

They were contacted on Tuesday evening about safeguarding concerns at the home in Fermanagh, operated by Runwood Homes Ltd.

RQIA’s chief executive Olive Macleod said during the inspection ‘we found systematic care failings and concerns in relation to the management of the home.’

She added: ‘RQIA considered that there was a serious risk to the life, health and wellbeing of all those living at Ashbrooke Care Home, and that assurances from the provider were not sufficient to address the risks identified.’

The RQIA got an urgent order to cancel the home’s registration with immediate effect.’

It is liaising with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and other authorities to make alternative arrangements for the home’s residents.

The home was taken over by Runwood Homes Ltd in August last year. It provides nursing and residential care for 64 people, some of them with dementia.

It follows an inspection in November last year when the RQIA reported that ‘significant concerns were identified during this inspection in respect of the delivery of care specifically within the nursing units. Some of the deficits identified in care delivery had the potential to impact negatively on patient outcomes.’

But an unannounced inspection in May found that the home offered safe, effective and compassionate care. Inspectors discussed infection prevention and control with the management.

The RQIA issued an enforcement notice and followed it up earlier this year.

In a statement, Runwood Homes Ltd said: ‘Runwood Homes Limited was not given any prior notification of the enforcement action that the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority intended to take in relation to Ashbrooke Care Home.

‘A previous Unannounced Care Inspection of the Home by RQIA on 15 May 2017 had found that there was evidence of safe delivery of care and no enforcement action resulted from the findings of that inspection. There has not, therefore, been any opportunity for Runwood staff to engage with RQIA to address any concerns that they had with regard to the running of Ashbrooke Care Home. Runwood are currently working very closely with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and other stakeholders to ensure that care delivery is provided in a person-centred and safe manner throughout this difficult time for Ashbrooke Care Home.'

It added: ‘Ensuring that residents of Ashbrooke Care Home receive high quality nursing and residential care is of upmost importance to us.’