Residents at an Isle of Man nursing home are being found new accommodation following a coronavirus outbreak that has resulted in 17 deaths.
The decision to move the residents at Abbotswood Nursing Home in Ballasalla was taken by the Isle of Man’s Department of Health and Social Care, which has been managing the home since April 13.
Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford said: “We have considered at length the options to move forward in this challenging situation. We had hoped to maintain continuity at Abbotswood but it has become clear we cannot continue to provide the care the residents require at the home. So we have reached the conclusion that the best thing for the residents, keeping their safety and best interests paramount, is to move them from their current residence.”
The majority of Abbotswood residents have already been transferred to the Community Covid ward at Newlands, the recently adapted former ward 20 at the Isle of Man’s Noble’s Hospital, or the former private patients unit at the hospital, which has been reconfigured to meet additional needs during the pandemic. The final cohort of residents is being transferred to Newlands this morning.
Mr Ashford added: “Moving home is always stressful, and we appreciate the residents may find this unsettling. We want to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to new homes, but this cannot be done in a single move. The residents will be cared for at Noble’s while their needs are re assessed by our social work team, and a tailored plan for each individual is developed. Families and residents will make decisions about what is best, with support from healthcare professionals.
“We are putting substantial resources into managing a very difficult situation – as the Department is now wholly responsible for the safety of the Abbotswood residents. The death of residents at the home over the past month is a matter of deep sadness for us all, and our sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones. The government is determined to resolve the complex issues which have arisen and to ensure the long term safety and wellbeing of all residents to the satisfaction of their families.”