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Tuesday 28 January 2020

Supporters defiant over nursing home

Eilish O'Regan

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight to keep open a nursing home, despite a damning report into the facility.

The inspector's report released yesterday found that some residents were only able to get out of bed every second day due to staff shortages at Loughloe House in Athlone.

More than 1,500 people marched in the town recently in opposition to the planned closure of Loughloe House, which is run by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

However, the report has exposed major concerns over the welfare of residents, including two allegations of abuse of residents by staff members.

A third allegation referred to financial abuse, where an "unknown resident" was accused of stealing a sum of money from a resident.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) made an unannounced inspection visit after being told of an alleged incident of verbal abuse of a resident by a staff member.

It recorded several deficiencies at the home, but there was evidence of good practice in some areas, and residents complimented the care they got, saying the food was great.


The HSE made a decision to close the home in early May and transfer the residents elsewhere.

But Age Action yesterday again called on the HSE to explain why it has decided to close it.

Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said the decision to close a home was "hugely traumatic" for residents, some of whom had lived there for more than 10 years.

"The very least they are entitled to is a reason why this decision has been taken," he said.

Irish Independent

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