Wide range of concerns have been identified

Doubts over Owenvale

By Ciara Quinn

A WEST Belfast residential care home faces de-registration following concerns raised about its standard of care. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) said it had identified a number of concerns about the St John of God Association’s running of Owenvale Court Residential Care Home on the Springfield Road, which provides care to elderly patients.

At the beginning of this year the Andersonstown News first reported that Owenvale Court was under investigation by the Belfast Trust and the North’s health and social care regulator, after complaints were made about the alleged mistreatment of residents.

Further attention was focused on the care home just last month when an 81-year-old great-grandmother, Kathleen Fegan, died after a fire broke out in her Owenvale Court bathroom.

A spokesperson for the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)  said: “Earlier this year, RQIA identified a range of concerns at Owenvale Court Residential Care Home run by the St John of God Association. These included: the quality of care delivery, management of medicines, safeguarding vulnerable adults, record keeping and staff levels.

“RQIA issued notices of failure to comply with regulations to the provider, and also placed conditions on the registration of the service.  These included a cessation of admissions to the home until the provider could demonstrate full and sustained compliance with regulations.

“In April 2012, as a result of further concerns, RQIA issued a notice to cancel the registration of St John of God Association in relation to Owenvale Court Residential Care Home.

“At present the registered provider is cooperating fully with RQIA and the Belfast Trust to identify a new provider to run the service, and to ensure the ongoing safety, protection and wellbeing of residents at this service.”

Speaking on behalf of Helm Housing, which owns the Owenvale Court Residential Home, Greg Lomax, Interim Chief Executive said: “Helm Housing has been informed by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust that St John of God Association can no longer continue to manage Owenvale Court. As a result there would be a possibility of de-registration in the coming weeks but only in the absence of an alternative provider being found. Helm Housing is in advanced discussions with a preferred supplier to ensure the ongoing safety, protection and wellbeing of residents at this scheme.”

Mr Lomax said a process of due diligence has now been entered into with a preferred supplier of nursing care in the North.

“This potential new provider is a highly experienced and well regarded organisation,” he added. “During this review process Helm Housing is committed to ensuring that there will be no disruption to the services that residents at Owenvale Court receive.”

A spokesperson for the Saint John of God Association told the Andersonstown News that reluctantly they had come to the decision that another provider, larger than their own organisation would be better placed to provide the necessary management at Owenvale Court.

“For some time now the Saint John of God Association has had difficulties in recruiting senior staff for Owenvale Court. In the coming weeks and months we will be withdrawing from the management of the home and facilitating a smooth and seamless transition to a new provider.

“We are working closely with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to ensure the welfare of our residents during this time of transition. The care provided to our residents is our primary concern. We are proud to have been involved in the founding of this home and we are confident that under new management it will continue to provide quality care into the future.”

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