Staff reeling as Orchard Nursing Home is to shut
HSE CLOSURE ASSESSMENT REPORT SAYS BUILDING IS A FIRE RISK
DEVASTATED staff at the Orchard Nursing Home on Killarney Road were told early yesterday morning that the facility is to close within the month with management likely to bulldoze the building.
Some tired workers were just coming off night shift as they received the news from HSE officials in a meeting attended by SIPTU.
Employees were told that a health and safety assessment report indicates that the building is a fire risk and all residents and staff must be moved elsewhere.
‘It is a home, and home to the residents,’ said a distressed employee, who said alternative employment would, however, be found for them all. ‘Could it not be done up? A lot of the staff members are very upset. We would much rather stay where we are.’
He added that the workers don’t know when or where they would be moving to after the closure of The Orchard. ‘There is a lot of uncertainty,’ he said. ‘We are also very concerned about the possible trauma to the elderly residents.’ He spoke of one woman in her 90s who gets up late every night for a cup of tea. ‘She will be moved somewhere else where they might not understand her habits like we do.
‘That might upset her. It will cost a lot to send them to private nursing homes and that money could be used to fix the place up.’ The types of problem identified in the report included lack of safety doors, door openings, distance of beds from emergency exits and dividing walls not going up to roof level. One staff member described it as ‘a prefab.’
Family members are currently being consulted by the HSE, who said that they will provide alternative accommodation for all those now living in The Orchard.
The HSE have indicated to public representatives that they intend to apply for a capital grant in 2010 to rebuild.
The Orchard Nursing Home.