Saturday 16 December 2017

Horror nursing home director defends patient treatment

Diarmuid Doyle

Allegations of elder abuse at a Dublin nursing home are unfounded, one of the directors said today.

Complaints against a member of staff at Rostrevor nursing home in Rathgar are the result of a "personal vendetta" and have no basis in fact, Sarah Lipsett claimed.

Ms Lipsett described the male nurse accused by colleagues of having brought a woman resident to the bathroom, from where screaming was later heard, as "fantastic and wonderful. There was never one complaint against him {before now]".

He was currently under suspension, she said, but could go back to work at the home if he ever wanted to.

Lipsett denied that any harm had been done to the resident in question. "She has dementia. She screams all the time," she told RTE's News At One. "Her doctor was in yesterday and said there was no question of mistreatment."

She also dismissed another alleged incident at the home, in which a male patient had his head banged off a door by the same nurse, who told other staff to say it had been an accident.

"There is no record of the incident," she said. She also claimed that the number of falls in the home over the last two years was "not unusual compared to other nursing homes".

Since allegations of mistreatment at the home had come to light, not a single member of any of the residents' families had complained to her, Ms Lipsett said.

She claimed that she had been in touch with all the families, who had said they were happy to have their relatives stay in Rostrevor and were angry at the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) for not taking the residents' views into consideration.

The President of the Circuit Court today rejected an application by the owners of Rostrevor nursing home challenging aspects of the District Court order issued last Friday which cancelled its registration.

Judge Matthew Deer said he was satisfied that the HSE was the body that now runs the home and it had to make decisions concerning the welfare of residents.

Senior Counsel Gavin Ralston for Rostrevor, said that some of the residents wanted to stay there and should not be removed in the short term. He said his client expected the cancellation of the home's registration last Friday, but was challenging other orders of the District Court.

Mr Ralston said his client was challenging the order to find alternative accommodation for residents as soon as possible, saying the judge in the case had gone too far.

Senior Counsel HIQA Eoin McCullough said the case raised serious concerns regarding the management and conditions in the home, including serious allegations of elder abuse and there was no evidence that residents wanted to stay there.

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