- in Environment
A County Tyrone care home has been ordered to close by the health regulator over a range of serious concerns about its operation.
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) said it had carried out inspections at the Valley Nursing Home in Clogher over the past year and could see no signs of improvement.
The home said it was working with the authorities to address concerns.
More than 70 people with specialist needs live there.
Olive MacLeod, RQIA chief executive, said the home “was one of the worst we have seen in Northern Ireland” and that patients had been “failed by management”.
“This is a legal notice to close this home,” she told the BBC.
She added: “The failings are across the board.”
Ms MacLeod said the home would close within 56 days under a “managed arrangement”.
She said the health trusts would now be working with patients and their families to find suitable alternative accommodation “that will meet the needs of these patients”.
The RQIA said that unannounced inspections at the home were conducted on 3, 16 and 17 December.
This followed previous inspections earlier in the year. Admissions were suspended in July.
The watchdog said “significant concerns were again noted with regard to the management and governance arrangements of the home, the health and welfare of residents, the management of infection prevention and control and the internal environment”.
The RQIA said on Tuesday that a notice of proposal to cancel the registration of the home had been issued due to “serious concerns”.
In a statement, Valley Nursing Home said it was committed to providing the highest level of care to its residents, “and continues to do so”.
It said the home had achieved full compliance with the previously issued failure to comply notices as of 16 October.
“We are continually working closely with the Southern and Western Trusts as well as the RQIA (Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority) through these matters of concern,” it added.
“We would like to take this opportunity to give the residents, their relatives, our staff within the home and the wider community the reassurance that there is full commitment during this process.”
The Health and Social Care Board said it was aware the RQIA had issued a notice of proposal.
It said it was working closely with colleagues in the health trusts and the RQIA “to ensure that there is regional and local co-ordination in managing this process”.
“The continued wellbeing of those who live in the Valley care home will be the priority should any future move to alternative care arrangements be needed,” a spokesperson said.
“The Board recognises that this is an unsettling time for those that live at the Valley and will work with them and their families to support them over the coming weeks and months.”
The spokesperson said the Board is “committed to ensuring that there is clear, regular communication” with those that live at the home, as well as their families, to address their concerns.