Information in relation to Closure of “Cara House”

Cara House, Skibbereen is a residential home for twelve elderly women. It is managed by Skibbereen Geriatric Society, a company limited by guarantee that provides residential care and other services for the elderly of Skibbereen and environs.

In December 2012, Skibbereen Geriatric Society applied to the Health Information and Quality Authority for the registration of Cara House, Market Street, Skibbereen, County Cork as a designated centre under the Health Act 2007.

Since July 2009, the Health Information and Quality Authority has been responsible for the registration and inspection of all designated centres for older people. HIQA needs to be satisfied that systems are in place in all designated centres which ensure that the safety and welfare of all residents and staff are protected. Cara House, as a designated centre, catering for the long term residential needs of older people is subject to registration and inspection under the nursing homes regulatory framework.

A registration inspection visit by HIQA raised concerns which included the level of dependencies of a number of residents, medication management, staffing and the ability of the home to cater for the residents in its current format. An immediate concern in relation to the administration of medication was addressed in the interim by the Association by providing nursing cover to administer medication in the home.

As a result of the concerns raised during the inspection HIQA prepared a Plan of Action for the Society to address. Following receipt of this Plan the Society met to discuss the situation. The outcome of this meeting resulted in them withdrawing their application for registration. The Society advised both HIQA and the HSE that they would close on June 28th.

At this stage the overall priority is the residents’ wishes and safety. One resident has already been relocated to a long stay bed in Bantry, while 2 residents are in Bantry General Hospital. Discussions are underway with these two with a view to identifying an appropriate placement.

There are now 9 remaining residents at Cara House and 8 of these have been assessed as requiring long term residential care. The HSE is working with the residents and their families to find alternative accommodation. Discussions have been held on the options available to them as they work to find alternative accommodation. Each is being supported in completing the application for financial support under the Nursing Homes Support scheme.

While all of the residents have identified a preference for a placement in Skibbereen they have been advised that it was extremely unlikely that this number of beds would become available within the timeframe and second preferences were discussed with them. All residents can be accommodated within the timeframe in at least the facility they have identified as their second preference. They have been further advised that a transfer back to either the Community Hospital or the private nursing home in Skibbereen could be requested and they would receive the next available suitable bed.

The remaining resident was not deemed in need of a continuing care placement and a package of care is being arranged to support her relocation to an apartment in Skibbereen.