Relatives in shock at 'friendly' nursing home's closure order
Relatives of elderly residents in the Dublin nursing home at the centre of a closure order expressed shock yesterday after being told it posed a safety risk.
The relatives visited loved ones in Rostrevor private nursing home in Orwell Rd, Rathgar, throughout the day as health service nurses took over the running of the facility which cares for 23 elderly residents.
The takeover by Health Service Executive (HSE) staff came after an interim court order was obtained last Friday for the closure of the home due to the serious risk to residents.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) moved to seek its shutdown by removing its registration after a recent visit by inspectors.
The nursing home charges €860 a week to residents, all of whom will now have to be uprooted and moved to another facility in the coming weeks.
A member of staff at the home told the Irish Independent yesterday they had no comment to make.
The home is owned by the company Kitelm, whose two directors are Avilla Lipsett, a former model, and her sister, Sarah, a solicitor. It was previously owned by their mother Therese.
Mrs Lipsett's housekeeper said yesterday she was in hospital and unavailable for comment.
Relatives said they were informed last Friday about the court order but had no inkling there were any problems with the standard of care.
An elderly woman, from nearby Churchtown, who was visiting her husband, said he was very happy in the home.
"It's a very home-like atmosphere in there and the food was good," said the woman,who did not want to be named.
"He seemed to be well looked after. You couldn't get nicer staff, very friendly so I didn't have any real complaints."
She said she was shocked when a HIQA official called her at 9pm last Friday to tell her the home would be closing.
"I still haven't gotten over the shock, I keep thinking what are we going to do and how is he going to react. It's a big shock, it's an ache in your heart."
Another relative, Tom Lyons, said he was not aware of any problems with the care.
"I can honestly say I have never had a moment when I have had a concern about it."
HIQA has to return to court within 28 days to seek a final order for its closure. The HSE team will remain in place until all residents have left but the owners will continue to be paid fees by the residents.
HSE manager David Walsh said staff were cooperating with the HSE nurses.
"Both patients and relatives will be upset with what's going on. They need to be treated compassionately and the process needs to be given time."
This is the third nursing home to be closed by HIQA since it took over inspections in mid-2009.