By Peter Moor.
Clifton Nursing Home, in North Belfast, is to be taken over by Healthcare Ireland Group.after it was badly struck by COVID-19.
Residents were to be moved from Clifton nursing home, after concerns were raised about the handling of the outbreak.
It has emerged there have been nine coronavirus-related deaths at the home, which had be run by Runwood Homes.
BREAKING: Clifton Nursing Home, which has been struck by COVID-19, is to handed over to Healthcare Ireland Group under a new management deal.— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) May 26, 2020
It comes after families of residents said the level of care in the home was "deplorable" pic.twitter.com/DazIno1biY
In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said:
“Whilst it was disconcerting that the HSCT were unwilling to continue supporting the team at Clifton Nursing Home, and work in partnership to implement the required improvements highlighted during the latest inspection in the middle of a pandemic, we are pleased that an agreement has been reached with our friends at Healthcare Ireland Group to receive management of the service.
"The home, unfortunately, experienced concerning, increasing numbers of staff sickness due to the pandemic, further accentuated by external agency and Trust staff unwilling to work due to the national threat of the virus’ transmission rate, and therefore, the level of the service was impacted, greatly affecting the home’s ability to fully function to the expected standards of the Group and learnings have been made.
"We are contented with this positive decision enabling the residents to remain in their current, familiar living environment, with the same staff, ensuring continuity of care, which should remain a priority following the departure of our management.
"We’d like to thank the positive staff team at the home for their ongoing commitment in their crucial roles and wish them all the very best in their careers under a new provider and thank the Trusts for their continued partnership to ensure good quality, person-centred care in our remaining Northern Ireland services.”
Before this takeover was announced, Robin Swann, the Health Minister, said that it was not the right time for an inquiry into the home.