Coronavirus: Woman distraught over care home relocation

Coronavirus: Woman distraught over care home relocation

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Concerns have been raised about Clifton Nursing Home’s handling of a Covid-19 outbreak.

A woman whose father is being moved from a north Belfast care home has said she is “distraught” about the situation.

Residents are being relocated from Clifton Nursing Home following recent inspections by the care home regulator, the RQIA.

Concerns have been raised about the home’s handling of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Lorraine Blackadder has not seen her 87-year-old father David Hutton – who has dementia – for eight weeks.

“Distraught wouldn’t even cover it,” Mrs Blackwood said.

“My dad is so confused anyway and to have this happen and the idea of him having to pack up his belongings without us there and having to move out of his wee room to somewhere else completely strange.”

She said although her dad was unsettled and confused because of his dementia he “loved a wee bit of banter” with the staff who she said “were lovely and always very helpful”.

“What happens to them?” she said.

“Do they go with him or does he go on his own? We’ve no answers to any of these questions it’s so, so upsetting.”


Mrs Blackadder added: “You would like some information.

“The fact that they just announced this on the news and I’ve seen that some people on Facebook didn’t even get a phone call – they were watching the news and saw it and that is just unbelievable for such a major thing.

“You’re always worried about Covid anyway in nursing homes and for this to happen and your relatives have to be moved without as much as a piece of information is just beyond belief.”

The health minister said the relocation was being handled in consultation with residents and their families.

“Given the current situation facing care homes with Covid-19, decisive action is essential,” said Robin Swann on Friday.

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Robin Swann said action would be taken if a home’s response to Covid-19 was deemed inadequate

Health trusts had started to contact families about moving residents to other suitable homes as soon as possible, said Mr Swann.

He added: “The concerns about the home relate in part to its management of a Covid-19 outbreak.”

The RQIA has had ongoing concerns for some time about the home, which is operated by Runwood Homes.

Death numbers falling

On Friday, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) reported that, for the second week in a row, coronavirus-related deaths in care homes had fallen.

In the week to 15 May, there were 32 deaths in care homes, a fall from 38 the previous week, Nisra reported.

Almost half of the deaths Nisra has recorded in Northern Ireland have happened in care homes

The health minister said: “It needs to be stressed that a large majority of care homes in Northern Ireland do not have Covid-19 outbreaks.

“Where homes do have outbreaks, they are working closely with trusts, the Public Health Agency and RQIA to appropriately manage the situation.

Referring to the relocation at Clifton Nursing Home, Mr Swann continued: “If a home’s response is inadequate, action will be taken – as has happened in this case.”

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