Staff reel­ing as Or­chard Nurs­ing Home is to shut

HSE CLO­SURE AS­SESS­MENT RE­PORT SAYS BUILD­ING IS A FIRE RISK

Bray People - - News Focus - Mary FOG­A­RTY

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.

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