HSE moves to allay fears of nursing home closures

The Health Service Executive has moved to allay fears of widespread closure of nursing homes that do not meet the standards set out by the health watchdog.

A report in The Sunday Business Post highlights a number of homes, including six in the Cork area, where the Health Information and Quality Authority identified areas of “major” non-compliance.

These included St Finbarr’s Hospital on Douglas Rd, Bandon Community Hospital, Macroom Community Hospital, St Joseph’s Ward, Bantry General Hospital, St Joseph’s Community Hospital, Millstreet, and Castletownbere Community Hospital.

Other nursing homes in breach of standards include St Joseph’s Community Hospital in Ennis, Co Clare, St Patrick’s Hospital, John’s Hill, Waterford, and Tralee Community Nursing Unit.

In a statement yesterday, the HSE said it was “currently working with HIQA around our public units which are currently registered but will be up for re-registration during 2015”.

The HSE said each unit will be inspected by HIQA and a decision made about re-registration on a unit-by-unit basis.

The HSE conceded that HIQA has indicated “there will be issues with some of our units around full compliance under infrastructural standards”.

However, they said it would be “pre-emptive of the HSE to identify what the outcome of the inspection process will be”.

The HSE said it had, “within available resources”, upgraded some public long-stay units “to full infrastructural standards” but that “a major capital investment would be required to bring all these units to full infrastructural compliance, particularly those that are in excess of 100 years old”.

However, the HSE said it recognises that the units in question “provide a significant number of long-stay beds in areas of high demand” and with that in mind, they have been “working closely with HIQA over the past number of months to meet the re-registration requirements of these units” to facilitate continued delivery of these services.

HIQA has said if a centre is not in compliance by July 1, 2015, and if no realistic time-bound costed/funded plan has been agreed with the authority, then appropriate conditions will be attached to any renewal of registration.

There are more than 100 publicly-run nursing homes catering for more than 7,000 residents.


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