13 care home fails in Northern Trust area

editorial image

A total of 13 private nursing homes in the Northern Trust area have had placements suspended due to poor elderly care.

The figures, which go back to 2012, were released by the Department of Health after a question by DUP MLA Paul Frew at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

It was the highest total of any trust area in the North, followed by the Southern Trust area, which had 12 suspensions over the same five year period.

The news comes after a report which reveals the staff vacancy crisis hitting nursing homes.

The staff vacancy rate for the nursing homes, which aren’t operated by the trusts, is currently around 15% of the total workforce, leading the Royal College of Nursing to warn of a recruitment and retention “crisis”

The RCN said one of the aims of the survey was to establish the extent of the nursing recruitment and retention “challenge”.

“The sector is facing a significant threat from under-funding and an inability to recruit and retain the required number of registered nurses. As a result the people who live in private nursing homes, many of them vulnerable and many of them older people, may lose their home”, said Janice Smyth, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland.

The research showed that 72.1% of facilities reported vacancies that equated to 374 whole-time registered nurse positions.