A nursing home in Clogher has been ordered to close after a health watchdog outlined “serious concerns” it had in relation to the management of the home and patient safety.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) first highlighted issues at the Valley Nursing Home in July 2019 but despite assurances given that steps would be taken to address matters subsequent inspections showed a “lack of sustained improvements”.

As a result, the Valley Nursing Home will close on February 21 unless owners can be assured that the home is safe and meets the standards required. Both the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the Western Health and Social Care Trust have been informed of the decision and must make plans to seek alternative accommodation for the 75 people currently living in the home.

The most recent Inspection Report that is available to the public was made in September 2019 with a catalogue of shortcomings.

The report stated that “staff knowledge in relation to the management of needle stick injuries, dilution rates for disinfectants and management of blood spillages was lacking” and that there was “evidence of dirty patient equipment… One toilet seat was just cleaned by a domestic yet it remained stained and soiled”.

The report also outlined that only 60 per cent of staff demonstrated good practice in relation to hand hygiene and that “senior management do not have oversight of the quality of cleaning practices in the home. More attention to detail and better governance arrangements are required”.

It was also stated that chairs and mattresses were heavily stained and “not fit for purpose”.

In its notice of proposal to close the home RQIA stated that “following receipt of further intelligence on 30 October 2019, an unannounced inspection of the Valley Nursing Home was conducted on 31 October 2019. Concerns were once again identified with regard to care delivery, fire safety, staff training, robustness of managerial oversight and governance arrangements.”

At that stage yet further assurances were given by the home that improvements would be made but three further inspections in December saw that “significant concerns were again noted” with RQIA telling the Valley Nursing Home: “Given the lack of sustained improvements since July 2019, and the potential for the matters outlined in this notice to negatively impact on the delivery of safe and effective care to patients, this Notice of Proposal has been issued”.