Coronavirus: Belfast care home residents moved amid Covid-19 concerns

Clifton Nursing Home, BelfastImage copyright

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Regulators have had concerns about the Clifton Nursing Home for some time

Residents are being relocated from a Belfast care home amid concerns about its handling of a Covid-19 outbreak.

The move at Clifton Nursing Home follows recent inspections by the care home regulator, the RQIA.

The health minister said the relocation was being handled in consultation with residents and their families.

“Given the current situation facing care homes with Covid-19, decisive action is essential,” said Robin Swann on Friday.

Health trusts had started to contact families about moving residents to other suitable homes as soon as possible, said Mr Swann.

He added: “The concerns about the home relate in part to its management of a Covid-19 outbreak.”

The RQIA has had ongoing concerns for some time about the home, which is operated by Runwood Homes.

Death numbers falling

On Friday, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) reported that, for the second week in a row, coronavirus-related deaths in care homes had fallen.

In the week to 15 May, there were 32 deaths in care homes, a fall from 38 the previous week, Nisra reported.

Almost half of the deaths Nisra has recorded in Northern Ireland have happened in care homes

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PA Media

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Robin Swann said action would be taken if a home’s response to Covid-19 was deemed inadequate

The health minister said: “It needs to be stressed that a large majority of care homes in Northern Ireland do not have Covid-19 outbreaks.

“Where homes do have outbreaks, they are working closely with trusts, the Public Health Agency and RQIA to appropriately manage the situation.

Referring to the relocation at Clifton Nursing Home, Mr Swann continued: “If a home’s response is inadequate, action will be taken – as has happened in this case.”

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