SOME 30 residents of a private nursing home will not have to move out after the Health Service Executive (HSE) moved in to take over its management.
Residents of the Mulross Nursing Home in Kilclare, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, faced an anxious wait for news after the home's registered provider wrote to inform them that he was shutting the facility and they would have to seek alternative accommodation.
However, yesterday evening the HSE took over management of the home at the request of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) after it raised concerns about residents' health, safety and quality of life.
An inspection of the nursing home by HIQA in May identified a number of problems, including inadequate medical records and no certificates of professional registration being on file for one part-time nurse and other relief nurses.
In a statement, HIQA said the registered provider of the home, Stephen Buckley, has accepted the decision to cancel its registration. It said that, acting in the public interest and in the interests of residents, it has decided that the HSE will take immediate charge of the home.
"HIQA has asked the HSE to make alternative arrangements for the management of the nursing home as soon as practicable," the statement added.
Local Independent councillor Gerry Dolan said the loss of the home and its 32 jobs would mean "devastation for the community".
Mr Buckley did not respond to a request for comment.
Patricia Foley, who owns the building and leased it to Mr Buckley, reassured residents, relatives and staff that the home would not be closing.
Meanwhile, a state-of-the-art in-patient hospice in Blanchardstown in Dublin could remain idle because of a lack of funding.
The Blanchardstown facility, which is run by St Francis Hospice, is currently used two days a week to provide day-care services and houses a palliative care team which makes over 3,000 home visits each year.
However, its 24 in-patient beds are lying idle due to a lack of funds.
Chief executive of the hospice Ethel McKenna said they were engaging with the HSE and expect to learn in the coming weeks whether the in-patient beds can be opened. However, a HSE spokeswoman said there was no indication of funding being approved for the Blanchardstown site in 2013.