Whistleblower at Runwood Northern Ireland care home says staff concerns are not addressed

Rose Court, Ballymena is run by Runwood Homes

A staff team at a Runwood Homes residential care home are not being provided with adequate resources to properly care for residents, a whistleblower has claimed.

The whistleblower has said requests for additional resources to help staff at Rose Court, Ballymena, to provide safe care are falling on deaf ears.

According to the whistleblowers, in the early hours of September 6 a resident assaulted staff in an incident at Rose Court. Staff reported the incident to the management of the home and asked for the resident to be given one-to-one due to his challenging behaviour.

However, the whilstleblower has alleged this did not happen. Runwood Homes, however, has said one-to-one care for the resident was provided as soon as it was appropriate.

The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, recently bought Runwood Homes under fire for failing to address staff concerns about Dunmurry Manor, Belfast.

Mr Lynch said: “Some of the problems experienced within these homes mirror the issues that led to the serious failings of care within Dunmurry Manor. I will be seeking assurances from the Department of Health in relation to the issues within these Runwood Homes care homes.”

Aidan Hannah, NI Patient Voice, said the situation at Rose Court is just the latest in a long line of claims by Runwood Homes staff that their concerns are not being addressed.

Mr Hannah said: “This is a recurrent theme when it comes to Runwood Homes. I appreciate there is a shortage of nursing staff in Northern Ireland, but I don’t accept this is a fact here given the fact that well-run care homes are able to attract and retain staff.

“There are systematic failures in Runwood Homes, the RQIA has had serious concerns about eight of the company’s homes. How many times do the RQIA have to highlight repeated failures by Runwood before the Department of Health does something to restore public confidence in our care homes?

The claims about Rose Court come a week after a resident of the nursing unity at the facility was taken to hospital by ambulance after she was discovered lying on the floor in the early hours of the morning.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “Action continues to be taken by the department, the trusts and the RQIA, who are all committed to ensuring the highest standard of care for residents in all care homes.”

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