News Irish News

Saturday 17 March 2018

Care home hit by abuse claim earned €700,000 in taxpayer cash last year

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE nursing home at the centre of shocking abuse allegations received nearly €700,000 from the taxpayer last year, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Rostrevor House on Orwell Road in Rathgar, Dublin, received the income in financial subsidies paid by the Health Service Executive (HSE) for its 23 residents.

It is understood a small number of residents were transferred to other homes over the weekend and others are due to leave over the coming week.

An interim order for its closure has already been obtained and moves are expected to be made during the week to have this made permanent -- although members of the Lipsett family who run the home, Sarah and Avila, are to fight it.

The Lipsetts have rejected claims that five elderly residents were physically and verbally abused by Mauritian care assistant Kevin Poorun, saying the allegations by other staff members are an act of revenge because of an internal dispute at the home.

The Irish Independent has learnt that, last year, the HSE gave a total of €689,510 to Rostrevor House in financial supports for residents.

This accounted for the majority of the income to the owners, who are allowed to charge €860 a week per resident under the Fair Deal scheme.

Most of the 23 residents in the home are believed to be getting financial assistance to help pay the weekly fees.

They are part of different schemes, including Fair Deal, which assesses people's income and assets, leaving a resident paying some of the fees and the State paying the rest.


Other Rostrevor residents are still getting weekly subventions as part of a scheme, introduced by the old health boards at a time when private nursing fees were putting extreme pressure on the elderly.

And the remainder of residents in Rostrevor House were sent there directly by the HSE, which is paying for their care.

These residents are in contract beds, which the HSE leases in private nursing homes across the country due to a shortage of beds in public nursing homes.

The private nursing homes with contracted beds are vetted by health officials before the public patients are transferred there to ensure they will get a high standard of care.

It is unclear if any of the residents who were allegedly abused by the care assistant were sent there by the HSE.

Sarah Lipsett -- a solicitor and director of the home -- said none of the residents wanted to leave and some had been there for several years.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), which obtained an interim order for the home's closure over a week ago, was given 28 days to go back to apply for a final order.

It is expected it will return to court this week but the HSE will continue to transfer residents to other facilities in the meantime.

HIQA only learnt of the allegations, made by three foreign staff at the home, late last month.

Before that, its inspection reports praised the respect given to residents and the facility's homeliness.

Mr Poorun (33) has rejected all the allegations made against him.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News