A nursing home in South Dublin is to close due to fire safety issues that would cost in excess of €1 million to rectify, the director of the service has said.
Sally Park nursing home in Firhouse currently houses 35 residents and is run by 46 staff. However, due to the impending closure, the residents will need to find alternative accommodation and staff will be made redundant.
A recent inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), from September but published last month, identified significant compliance issues with regulations, particularly with regard to fire safety.
Inspectors said overall, the provider had “failed to provide a safe and effective service” particularly during ongoing construction works at the site, and it “failed to ensure residents were protected from the risk of fire and that residents could be safely evacuated to a place of safety”.
Inspectors also highlighted issues with regard to infection control, compliance with regulations and protecting the rights of residents.
On Monday, Ronan Collins, director of Passage Healthcare, which runs the Sally Park home, said the company assumed control of the nursing home from the original owners in May 2017.
In response to questions, he said while they were aware of certain issues with regards to the need to remediate the building, further issues arose during the building process, as well as planning applications being delayed due to objections.
“Obviously we are very sad about the need to close Sally Park, it’s always been a very community-focused nursing home with a lovely family feel, but the building is just not fire safe and the cost of making the building fire safe would be over €1 million which is just not feasible,” he said.
“To that end we have a duty of care to keep people safe so unfortunately the nursing home will have to close, but we all have extremely fond memories of Sally Park which will remain in our hearts.”
Mr Collins said some works were already completed on the home since it took over control of the facility, including expenditure of €250,000 on fire upgrades.
“We liaised with Dublin Fire Brigade every two weeks to inform them of progress. We further commenced decanting residents from the top floor which was the highest risk area for fire safety,” he said.
“We halted all new resident admissions to the home to allow for the home to maintain its duty for caring for our residents and in the hopes for the least disruption to their lives while at the same time reducing numbers in the home to ensure we were reducing risk within the building and allowing us to then have the ability to complete works with little disruption to the daily life of those in the home.”
However, the final sum of more than €1 million is “colossal” for a small nursing home that is already loss-making, he said.
“Regrettably the works would also have taken a lot of time to complete, we discussed this with Hiqa and Dublin Fire Brigade but obviously the safety of the residents of Sally Park was a priority so unfortunately the decision was made that Sally Park would have to close.”