Regulator issues second warning to care home over shared underwear

The Northern Ireland regulator has issued a second warning to a Runwood Homes care home after discovering evidence that its residents were using shared underwear.

Inspectors of Rose Court Nursing Home in April found evidence that unlabelled net pants were being laundered and used communally despite it calling for an end to the practice following a visit in December. Runwood Homes has firmly denied that underwear is being shared at the home.

Inspectors also observed staff crushing biscuits into tea for people with dysphagia and called for an immediate end to the practice.

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The inspection also uncovered examples of good practice and no enforcement action was taken against the service.

A Runwood spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph: “We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive findings of the latest unannounced RQIA inspection of Rose Court.

“The report notes that patients described living in the home in positive terms and were observed to be relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings, as well as evidence that the management team listened to and valued patients and families and took account of their views.

“We stress that residents do not share underwear – incontinence sufferers are provided with fresh, clean net pants for their use.

“However, we are now labelling these so that each person has their own set of net pants and when labels come loose in the laundry, we dispose of the item.

“Residents are free to crush their biscuits into their own tea if they wish, and many like doing so. However, staff have been advised not to do this and we have also provided a wider range of alternative snacks.”

The news following the publication of a report by the Commissioner of Older People which revealed incidents of historic abuse at Runwood’s Dunmurry Manor in Northern Ireland (see UPDATED: Runwood Homes issues apology following ‘horrific’ report findings).

While issuing an apology for what it described as the isolated and historic incidents at the home, Runwood has also contested some of the report’s findings (see Row erupts over Dunmurry Manor care home inquiry).

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