Nursing home shut after HIQA inspections

A COURT has ordered the closure of a Co Meath nursing home.

Drogheda District Court was told yesterday that the operator of Creevelea Nursing Home in Laytown was withdrawing his appeal against the cancellation of the registration of the premises as a nursing home.

The cancellation of the registration had been sought by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) based on its concerns about conditions there.

The concerns related to resident’s health and safety, a lack of governance, clinical management and a lack of staff training.

A previous sitting of the court was told by HIQA inspector Nuala Rafferty that on a visit last November the premises was found to be so cold residents had been on the verge of being at risk of hypothermia due to heating problems.

There had also been 19 falls by residents over a six-week period.

The court also heard that inspections found the home was not clean, lacked an adequate stock of food and that it had been broken into on three occasions.

HIQA’s application had been opposed by Peter Murphy, the director of Creevelea House Limited and the registered provider of the home.

When the hearing resumed yesterday Ronan Kennedy BL, for HIQA, told Judge Flann Brennan that after discussions on Friday and over the weekend the owner was consenting to the cancellation of the nursing home’s registration as of 1pm on July 4, 2011.

Mr Kennedy said that arrangements were in place for the HSE to accommodate the seven remaining residents elsewhere as soon as was practical.

He said that Mr Murphy undertook to co-operate fully with the HSE.

The lawyer added that HIQA was not seeking its costs in the case.

A barrister for Mr Murphy confirmed that his client was withdrawing his appeal against the registration’s cancellation but was doing so “without any admission of liability”.

However, Mr Murphy gave a statement yesterday expressing his intention to seek an independent review of the events leading to the withdrawal of the registration.

Judge Brennan confirmed the order cancelling the registration and dismissed Mr Murphy’s appeal.

Fergus O’Dowd, Fine Gael TD for Louth, was in attendance at Creevelea Nursing Home yesterday as the remaining patients were removed by two ambulance crews.

The HSE in a statement confirmed that it was making all arrangements to secure appropriate alternative accommodation for the remaining residents “with immediate effect”.

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