Healthcare news

Suspensions lifted on care homes run by company at centre of damning probe

Clifton Nursing Home in Belfast is among three care homes that can now receive residents
Seanín Graham

THREE residential facilities run by a scandal-hit private care home firm have had a temporary ban on receiving new residents lifted.

Runwood Homes, which is based in England, yesterday confirmed it had "successfully implemented improvement requirements" at Glenabbey Manor in Glengormley, Clifton Nursing Home in Belfast and Rose Court in Ballymena to allow it to receive admissions.

The company operates 10 homes across the north and became embroiled in controversy in June following a damning report by the Older People's Commissioner into Dunmurry Manor.

There was a public outcry after the commissioner, Eddie Lynch, found elderly dementia patients in Dunmurry had been starved and denied medication. One pensioner had bedsores "to the bone" while a small number were sexually assaulted by other patients.

Runwood's owner Gordon Sanders apologised for the "isolated incidents" at Dunmurry Manor but branded the investigation as "flawed" and "inaccurate".

The firm also hit the headlines last year after one of its homes, Ashbrooke in Enniskillen, became the first ever facility to be closed due to appalling care failings.

In yesterday's statement, the company said the three homes affected by the "pause" on admissions have received positive inspections by the watchdog, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), allowing the Northern health trust to refer people to the facilities.

Clifton Nursing Home at Carlisle Circus has been repeatedly subject to watchdog warnings and suspended admissions over the past decade.

"We are pleased that the improved standards of care and practise have been recognised by the RQIA and the Trusts," Gavin O'Hare-Connolly, Runwood's Chief Operating Officer added.

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