Dickson comments on Cherry Tree House and other East Antrim Nursing Homes

Alliance East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has said that the review of Cherry Tree House nursing home in Carrickfergus must be widened to allow former staff and families to tell their stories. A former care assistant has claimed that residents were not properly fed and that there were poor levels of hygiene.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I recently met representatives from the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to discuss a variety of concerns I have about Cherry Tree House and other nursing homes in East Antrim. They failed to give me any satisfactory answers.

“I asked why little action seemed to be taken when inspection reports showed urgent requirements and recommendations had not been acted upon.

“Soon after, I was informed that the Health Minister had commissioned a Review into Cherry Tree House. However, it soon became clear that this would only be a ‘Desk Top’ exercise.

“I was extremely disappointed to discover that the Review Team would not meet former staff or relatives and would not even offer me a meeting.

“This is a wholly inadequate response to these very serious allegations.

“Moreover, I have written to the Health Minister twice requesting that the Review be widened to facilitate interviews, but this request has fallen on deaf ears.

“I recently received a further letter from the Minister telling me that he was content that the RQIA would merely continue with their Desk Top analysis of the problem.

“The decision of the Minister not to hold a full inquiry is causing untold distress to family and residents and to staff who want to provide the very best of service to those in their care.”


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