Christmas has come very early for the 14 residents of Mount Cara who were told on Wednesday the facility is to remain open.
Cara House on Redemption Road, is a 25-bed home, with 15 current residents, which opened more than 30 years ago.
The care home was set to close in January due to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and a reduction in occupancy, however, on Wednesday, the board of management announced that the care of the residents was secure and the premises would remain open.
In a statement Chair of the board, Fianna Fáil Councillor John Sheehan said following extensive discussions and negotiations with the HSE, HIQA and a number of healthcare providers, a solution had been found to keep the facility open.
The board is now to partner with Michael O’Shea from Corpus Christi Nursing Home. The details of this agreement are to be ironed out over the next six weeks.
The councillor said there were four objectives to consider in relation to proposals from partners, that the facility would remain open with residents, the current staff would be retained and there would be a long term plan for the future.
Speaking about the development, Mr Sheehan said: “This is a good day for Mount Cara. The future of Mount Cara is ensured.” A relative of a resident Yvonne Richmond said for her 98-year-old father Fred who has been residing in the home since February, it was a huge relief.
“He is delighted. It’s upsetting to move someone when they are elderly and at this particular time, where are you supposed to go?” “When the initial decision to close was announced, we were looking around and every place was closed we would have been waiting a year or you would have had to go down the country.” We can relax for Christmas now, the pressure is off.” Cork Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central called for clarity on the future of Mount Cara and said the residents and staff have been left in doubt for another six to eight weeks.
“Whatever happens going forward, the priority must be the residents, workers and local community who have fought tirelessly for this facility.
“Staff are still unclear about the future of their own jobs and a wait of 6-8 weeks for this clarity is too long given the current climate. They cannot be left in limbo. The nature of the partnership between the existing Board of Management and the private operator is unclear and I will be seeking answers on this in coming days.
Mr Gould also commended the Save Mount Cara campaign group, the local community, the staff, the residents and their families for their work in securing the facility.
“This has been a long campaign. We have held public meetings, press conferences and vigils. Thank you to everyone who has attended these and showed their support. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without their trojan efforts and it has been a pleasure to campaign alongside them to date.
“The Northside of Cork has shown its true spirit in this campaign. I will continue to stand up and make sure that the voices of the staff, residents and local community are heard.”