Northern Ireland

Dunmurry: Investigation into care at elderly residential home

DUNMURRAY MANOR

Health officials have launched an investigation into standards of care at a residential home for the elderly on the outskirts of Belfast.

New admissions to the home Dunmurry Manor have been suspended.

The Trust said the investigation was ordered following complaints over standards of care and "a number of concerns raised about the home."

In a letter to families of relatives living in Dunmurry Manor, the South Eastern Trust said:

"We were concerned to learn of this and have taken immediate action to investigate and remedy the situation."

"To assure ourselves that care provided is appropriate and to the standard expected we are ensuring that all residents have a care review undertaken with their care manager, family and staff at Dunmurry Manor."

'Work in progress'

The Trust told the BBC it wanted to hear from anyone whose relatives stayed there over the past 12 months as part of its investigation.

The owners, an Essex based company called Runwood Homes, described Dunmurry Manor as "work in progress" and said "visiting professionals have in recent weeks recognised positive changes there".

Dunmurry Manor is a 76-bed care home for the elderly which includes looking after residents with dementia.

It has emerged there was a previous investigation there last October when admissions were also suspended for a period.

'Totally unacceptable'

West Belfast woman Julieann McNally complained to the trust about the care her grandmother, Annie McCourt, received as a resident.

Following a fall on 19 June, the resident's family was not informed for nine hours.

"My grandmother was 89 years old, had Alzheimer's and dementia," said Ms McNally.

"It was totally unacceptable. I should have been informed immediately."

Image caption Julieann McNally complained to the trust about the care her grandmother, Annie McCourt, received as a resident.

'Disgusted'

Mrs McCourt did not return to the home from hospital and when her family went back to retrieve her clothing a month later they had to sift through a skip marked "dirty laundry."

"We were told to go through that and look for what we could find that belonged to her.

"We weren't given gloves or aprons. We were disgusted to be honest, absolutely disgusted," said Ms McNally.

The owners of the care home acknowledged to the family that the incident over the laundry and the delay in contacting them about the fall were both unacceptable.

In addition to this current investigation by the Trust, Dunmurry Manor is also subject to enforcement action from the body that regulates care homes the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

It has been given until next month to comply with certain regulations.

Managing Director of Runwood Homes Logan Logeswaran said: "Runwood Homes have already met with the South East Health and Social Care Trust and the Trust are carrying out individual resident reviews.

"This is continuing without major disruption to the care home.

"With regard to Dunmurry, a new manager has been appointed recently and is working very closely with the care home staff, Local Authority and other healthcare professionals.

"The manager has also held a relatives meeting and relatives were reassured and updated on the planned action and progress to date.

"The new Home Manager also reviewed all communication between care home staff and relatives/next of kin, maintaining good relationships with all stakeholders to promote excellent care for the residents who live at Dunmurry," he said.

A spokesperson for the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) said: "In October 2016, during an unannounced care inspection at Dunmurry manor house nursing home, RQIA identified a number of concerns regards the care, staffing and governance arrangements at the home.

"As a result of these concerns, RQIA issued three notices of failure to comply with regulations, which set the out the actions required by Dunmurry Manor to achieve compliance with nursing home regulations by early January.

"The safety and wellbeing of every patient at Dunmurry Manor is of paramount importance to RQIA and we will continue to monitor this home through our ongoing regulatory and inspection activities."