Owen Mor nursing home still closed to admissions

Owen Mor Nursing Home.
Owen Mor Nursing Home.

A nursing home in Derry is to remain closed to new admissions following a fresh inspection of the premises by a NI health watchdog.

Owen Mor Nursing Home, located at Culmore Road, was stopped from accepting new residents earlier this year.

The 81-place facility provides homes for people with learning difficulties, mental health issues and dementia.

The latest move comes after a follow-up inspection by regulators last week.

They discovered concerns raised in May about some health standards had not been addressed.

Residents and families have been informed of the latest move.

Following the latest inspection, health regulator, the Regulations and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), said it still had concerns around knowledge and understanding of safe practice in the management of medicines.

It said it had particular concerns about those patients living with dementia who “may be unable to express their needs.”

The RQIA added: “Due to the number of missed doses identified through review of medicine records, there was insufficient evidence that a number of patients’ medicines had been administered as prescribed by the general practitioner. There is a risk that missed doses will have an impact on the health and well-being of these patients.”

The conditions imposed on Owen Mor with immediate effect include: no further admissions to the home; the assessment of competency and capability in the safe administration of medicines; and strengthening of management.

Meanwhile, the proprietors of Owen Mor Nursing Home say they have introduced “a new layer of management” at the Culmore Road facility.

Speaking on behalf of the owners, Dr Brendan McDonald said: “We are working closely with an independent consultant which we have engaged to immediately put in place a plan to address all concerns.

“While many of the compliance issues and shortcomings identified in the previous inspection have been successfully addressed, we are deeply disappointed that it has not been possible to comply with all standards within the period assigned. We will be seeking the agreement of our regulators and the support of the Western Trust to our new arrangements and we will be working to fully implement the changes needed so that all compliance requirements are met. We will be working with RQIA and their inspection teams until this is achieved.

“At Owen Mor our priority is not only to meet but to exceed the standards required of nursing homes. We apologise to our residents and their families that, on this occasion, we have fallen short of these. We are confident that our management initiative will deliver the changes needed to ensure that we are providing the standard of care and comfort which has been the hallmark of our long service.”