A BELOVED nursing home on the northside of Cork is set to remain open, providing “much needed” long-stay beds in the community.
A planned closure of Mount Cara nursing home on Redemption Rd was paused last year following pushback from staff, locals, and politicians.
Mount Cara Nursing Home chairman Dr John Sheehan has confirmed that approval for a new operator under the Fair Deal scheme has been sanctioned by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) and that the 12 residents currently at the home will be staying there.
He said that staff members’ positions are also secure and that there will also be some additional staff taken on as the home opens to new admissions again.
A number of meetings were held last year to save the 25-bed home, along with its dedicated staff members who provide short- and mid-term respite care to elderly people who are not yet in need of full-time care or who have recently been released from hospital and require further help.
The centre has also given short-term respite care support to families and carers coping with full-time care for an elderly relative.
Speaking to The Echo, Dr Sheehan said it was “a good news story” following a lot of work over the last year.
“We’ve been engaged with our solicitors, and working out all the details, and the Fair Deal and the HSE, and residents and staff, and finally we then engaged with Hiqa who did their final inspection and it all went well,” he said.
He said Mount Cara is “a very big part of the northside” and its community and hoped that saving the home from closure will help to combat the shortage of long-stay beds on the northside, with a waiting list already established.
“There is a shortage of long-term beds in the northside and this will hopefully fill that need.
“The good thing is there’ll be one or two residents coming in every week now. Up until now because of the uncertainty, the HSE had advised us not to take admissions and not to take respite admissions, but now that it’s secure we can start that and the residents are looking forward to that,” he said.
Dr Sheehan thanked board members who he said have had a long journey since this time last year with about 40 to 50 meetings held in total, including 20 meetings with the HSE, 10 meetings with Hiqa and many others with various political parties.
“It has been a lot of work but Mount Cara was really worth saving,” he said.
Staff member Majella Lynch said that the news is “a great relief for all staff and a great relief for all residents up there who can continue to call Mount Cara their home”.
“It’s 31 years in the community and it’s a place that’s well needed in the northside so to see it close would have been a big shame.
“The most important thing and why the campaign committee was set up was to keep it open and keep the residents there and that outcome was achieved, thank God,” she said.