Donaghcloney Care Home to close

Donaghcloney Care Home is to close, Four Seasons Health Care announced today (Tuesday, November 24).

It is one of seven homes across the province to close after what the company described as ‘careful consideration’.

The Donaghcloney home currently has 24 residents being cared for by 41 staff.

A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care described the decision to close the seven homes as a ‘difficult but unavoidable’ one, based on a combination of factors.

The spokesman said: “The principal reason behind this decision is that each of these homes is operating at a loss and they are no longer viable.

“The fee income that the homes receive is below the cost of the care they are providing and we have effectively been paying a subsidy for them to continue to provide care. We regret that we cannot continue to sustain this position.

“Additionally, the national shortage of nurses means it has been difficult to recruit and retain permanent staff of the right calibre. This leaves the homes reliant on temporary agency nurses in order to maintain staffing levels, that carries a high cost and presents challenges in maintaining the quality of care we expect to provide.

“The wellbeing of the residents is our priority and the homes will continue to provide care while we allow plenty of time for them and their families to be supported to find suitable alternative placements. We will do everything we can to ensure there is no disruption to their care during this time.”

Four Seasons welcomes applications for staff to transfer to the company’s other homes, subject to suitable vacancies being available.

“We would like to retain as many employees as we can and we expect that most of our nurses and a substantial number of our care staff will be able to transfer.”

In common with other leading care providers Four Seasons Health Care reviews its portfolio of care homes throughout the UK, with consideration of changing market conditions and its operational performance.

“The decision to close any home is not taken lightly, but we have to focus on homes that are capable of operating successfully to deliver high standards of care for the longer term

“We are committed to providing elderly care in Northern Ireland, where we are by far the leading provider and will have 62 care homes remaining in operation.”

The homes are: Victoria Park Care Home and Stormont Care Home in Belfast, Antrim Care Home, Garvagh Care Home, Oakridge Care Home in Ballynahinch and Hamilton Court in Armagh.