Failing care home firm paid £44 million by NHS in the last three years

The Belfast Telegraph revealed the National Health Service paid out almost £44 million to failing care home provider, Runwood Homes, in just three years.

The care provider experience repeated claims from residents’ relatives, health trusts and staff that conditions in several of their homes were unsafe and undignified.

The news comes after The Belfast Telegraph published an article stating the care home provider were forced to close the nursing unit at Rose Court in Ballymena, Ireland due to staff shortages.

A relative of one of the residents said the staff team had decided to quit following management’s failure to address concerns they had about residents’ safety and welfare.

Management were called to an urgent meeting with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) last month surrounding concerns about the facility.

A RQIA inspector found residents shared underwear and socks, and that there was a shortage of cleaning equipment such as mops and disinfectant.

Runwood Homes has continuously defended its services and said it has confidence in a senior management team that was put in place to drive up standards at its facilities.

The cost of placing people in Runwood Homes is revealed less than three months after the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland criticised the firm for not spending enough to provide proper equipment for staff or residents at Dunmurry Manor.

In a scathing report looking at conditions at the home, Eddie Lynch criticised Runwood Homes for not providing proper continence pads for residents, leaving worried relatives to buy them instead.

He also revealed that staff at the home had to buy their own blood pressure monitors as the ones provided by Runwood Homes, currently at the centre of a police probe into conditions at the home, were broken.

A spokesman for Runwood Homes said the company continues and will continue to strive to deliver the very highest standards of care at all its homes.

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