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Up to 46 residents and staff face upheaval as Co Armagh care home closes

Home will cease operating over the next 28 days

Pensioner old person care home
Image: Pixabay

Up to 46 residents and staff at a county Armagh care home are facing upheaval after the owners announced its closure.

Sixteen elderly residents will have to find alternative accommodation after the privately-owned Rathowen Care Home announced the news.

The owners of the home, on the Portadown Road in Tandragee, informed patients and staff yesterday of their decision to close the facility.

In a statement, obtained by the Belfast Telegraph, the owners, Mr and Mrs Watt, said: “It is with deep regret that we announce the closure of Rathowen Care Home within the next 28 days after 42 years.

“Management have informed staff, patients and relatives of the decision throughout the day, explaining that the closure is due to ongoing difficulties in recruiting and retaining the skilled and experienced nursing staff required to run the home.

“Management will work to ensure that patients, relatives and staff are kept informed throughout the closure transition, and in consultation with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, ensure the transition is carried out with the highest concern for patient care.”

The owners said they will retire after the last resident has left the home.

Last week, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, which oversees standards in nursing homes, issued a written decision ordering that admissions to Rathowen should cease until standards improved.

The Southern Trust said: “Rathowen Care Home in Tandragee recently informed the trust that the home is closing.

“The trust is working closely with RQIA and the home to ensure a safe transfer of the residents to alternative accommodation.

“The trust has assigned individual key workers to work closely with each of the residents and their families to find alternative accommodation so they can receive safe, high-quality care in a suitable environment which meets their individual needs.”

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