Friday 23 March 2018

Home where golden years were tarnished

This isn't the first time the Lipsett's nursing home has been investigated over abuse, writes Maeve Sheehan

IN 2005, Mrs Therese Lipsett left Dublin District Court with an €8,000 fine for breaching the nursing home regulations, claiming that she was the victim of a malicious campaign.

An elderly woman was found sleeping on a chair; the dressing on an elderly man's bedsore wound was contaminated with feces, and there were concerns over the safe-keeping of drugs. Mrs Lipsett, owner of Rostrevor nursing home, pleaded guilty to 10 breaches of regulations but still left court claiming no one had been wilfully neglected and that her innocence had been established. Soon afterwards, she wrote to the HSE: "As you know, I was the victim of a malicious campaign. The only sin I am guilty of is being too good and kind."

When the health watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), moved to close Rostrevor last week because of allegations that elderly patients had been assaulted, claims of malice surfaced once again. This time they were made by Therese Lipsett's daughter Sarah, who took over the nursing home after her mother was struck off the nursing register for professional misconduct. Sarah, a 30-year-old solicitor, claimed a "personal vendetta" between three staff members and a care assistant was behind the "unfounded" allegations of elder abuse. This was "a total revenge situation", she said.

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