Fears for the future of elderly as care home closes

Care home

Drumclay Care Home

CONCERNS have been raised about the provision of care for Fermanagh’s elderly after a care home in Enniskillen has announced it’s closure due to staff shortages. 
Drumclay Care Home currently has 34 residents and families impacted were told about the closure at a meeting last Wednesday night. 
The home, which is owned by Ebbay Ltd is closing due to the ‘inability to recruit the quality and quantity of skilled and experienced nursing staff required.’ 
This is the second care home in Enniskillen to close within a year, as Ashbrooke Care Home closed last August and there are concerns that the shortage of care assistants and nurses in the county could lead to the closure of other nursing homes. 
Patricia Donald, chairperson of the South West Ageing Partnership explained the news has sparked fear among the elderly in the community. 
“This is a massive concern for the elderly in the community because this could be the first closure of many. Drumclay is a very good nursing home, my aunt was in it so I knew it very well and it is a shame to loss it in the community. 
This closure will have a knock-on effect on the hospital and need for hospital beds. There was no planning and many of our nurses are getting older so we do not have enough to come in and take over. 
“It does not help that we currently do not have government or health minister. The health reform should have been implemented but we have nobody to do it, and the people are suffering now,” she added.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that some of the residents were previously at Ashbrooke Care Home, and are now facing a second move within a year. 
Local Councillor, Raymond Farrell, pictured, says that this is a ‘double blow’ for those residents and something needs to be done to protect the elderly in the county.
“We have a significant shortfall in terms of suitably qualified and experienced nursing staff which is compounded that we have had this experience before in the region. There are an awful lot of good private care homes in the constituency but there is anxiety around this at the minute. 
“We need to try to deal with that and give people confidence in the care services that are available to our senior citizens. We are facing a growing number of elderly people in the constituency so we need to have strategies and an action plan in place that is co-ordinated an financed so that people are not going to be in this position again.”
Meanwhile, is thought that the trade union GMB is seeking to hold a meeting later this week with the owners of the care home in an attempt to save the facility.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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