Wednesday 28 June 2017

Nursing home owner accuses HIQA of 'distorting facts'

Gearoid Keegan

THE owner of a nursing home forced to close last week has accused the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) of making untrue statements.

Maureen Flanagan, owner of Upton House private nursing home in Clara, Co Offaly, attempted to have an interim order closing the premises set aside at Portlaoise District Court yesterday.

The HSE took over the nursing home a week ago on foot of an application from HIQA, which claimed there was a risk to the life and health of the 13 residents.

In court yesterday, Mrs Flanagan's solicitor Donal Farrelly said the nursing home owner only became aware of the court order when she heard it broadcast on the news that evening.

Mr Farrelly said an affidavit from Mrs Flanagan maintained that HIQA's statement in court was untrue, contained serious omissions, was an exaggeration and a distortion of the facts.

Malicious

Mr Farrelly said his client felt that HIQA's actions were a malicious abuse of power by a fledgling organisation that was determined to flex its muscles against her -- a 72-year-old widow.

Mr Farrelly said no complaints had been made about Upton House by any of its residents or their relatives.

Judge Gerard Haughton said he now had affidavits from both sides and, on balance, his duty was to protect the patients so he would leave matters as they stood. However, he scheduled a full hearing for November 22 at Tullamore District Court.

Irish Independent

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