Nazareth House should rest assured of local support

Sir,

I feel that I have to put pen to paper to offer support to the caring staff of St Oliver’s Unit in Nazareth House in Derry and indeed to all the staff in Nazareth House as a whole.

I refer back to your front page story of Friday 27th January, regarding the report on Nazareth House by the RQIA (the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspections). I feel that whilst any recommendations towards the safe care of the elderly and vulnerable are to be welcomed, I must come to the defence of the dedicated workers in Nazareth House, based my own personal experience of having a relative cared for there.

I was saddened to see St Oliver’s portrayed in this way and cannot imagine the effect it must be having on the House as a whole. When I say the House, I say this with respect, as it has been a home for the elderly for many, many years.

In my experience, although this home may lack the modern conveniences and the modern surroundings, that is more than equalled by the holistic approach to care given to all residents by staff and sisters of Nazareth alike. We viewed this setting before our relative’s transition to the home. Many of our viewings were completely unannounced and unexpected, and afterwards we decided we would wait until a vacancy arose.

We as a family have had nothing but good things to say about the care our relative received while she was alive, and when issues arose that we needed to deal with, they were dealt with quickly and amicably.

I am more than aware of the need in this day and age for inspections and reports to ensure that all rules and regulations are adhered to at all times, but front page headlines painted an unfair picture of the level of care that still exists at St Oliver’s. This report must have caused great alarm to all concerned - residents, relatives and staff - and I feel morale must be affected very badly.

Staff at both units have given so much commitment over the years to the care of residents, and must have felt aghast at such headlines. I hope they continue on with their dedication and loyalty to residents and relatives alike, and rise above these headlines. They should rest assured that support from the community will continue.

Yours,

A Satisfied Relative ((name and address supplied)