BY KIERAN O'MAHONY
A NURSING home group, which operates a facility in Bantry and closed its nursing home in Belgooly last month, has been sold to a group of Irish investors.
Aperee Living has been bought by a consortium led by former chief executive, Paul Kingston. The sale includes the closed nursing home in Belgooly, Bantry nursing home, a site in Rochestown, a partially completed site in Glanmire, and premises in Kilkenny and Waterford.
The new owners will carry out an assessment of the Belgooly site, which is now lying idle. Aperee came in for severe criticism in August when it announced it was closing the 68-bed facility at Belgooly.
The closure was accelerated when the chief inspector of the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) cancelled Belgooly’s registration under Section 51 of the Health Act due to non-compliance with regulations, as outlined in a Hiqa report carried out at the home. The report expressed serious concerns around the overall management of residents’ finances and said the home was non-compliant when it came to fire precautions and staffing levels.
The Belgooly home’s accelerated closure forced several families to scramble to find places for their loves ones in other nursing homes.
Following the sale this week, Paul Kingston said that the consortium is ‘fully committed’ to providing the highest standards of care to all residents at the nursing homes. ‘We are very much looking forward to engaging with all our directors of nursing and their clinical teams, as well as meeting with residents and their families to ensure we deliver a best-in-class service in the nursing home sector,’ he said.
FG Sen Tim Lombard, who has been highly critical of Aperee Living in the past, gave a cautious welcome to the news.
‘I think it’s positive that this consortium is led by Mr Kingston who has experience in managing and operating nursing homes. It’s vital that we have capacity in this sector but equally it’s important that standards are maintained and regulations met, particularly in relation to the three nursing homes – including Belgooly, which closed,’ said Sen Lombard.
‘We also need assurances that the company taking over is financially viable and that it has the ability to bring all facilities up to the required standard,’ he added. He said the new owners now have an opportunity to communicate their strategic plan to address the financial and fire safety issues highlighted by Hiqa in relation to Belgooly.
‘I think the new owners have a body of work do in restoring confidence, especially with residents, families, and staff who have had to deal with uncertainty and upheaval in recent months.’