Dementia rest home shuts down

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 17:01 04/12/2012

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A Christchurch dementia rest home is shutting its doors after losing the backing of health authorities because of failings in its standard of care. 

Bermuda House in Upper Riccarton will close on December 20 and its 12 residents will be forced to move after management failed to address problems with medication management and access to GP services. 

In September the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) appointed a temporary manager to the facility after an audit was carried out by the Ministry of Health in response to anonymous concerns about the rest home. 

HealthCert, the ministry's auditing agency, has since decided not to renew Bermuda's operating licence, which expires on December 11. 

In response, the board will terminate its contract with Bermuda House on December 20 and the rest home's owner has decided to close the facility. 

Board chief medical officer of health Dr Nigel Millar said the temporary manager had been unable to work through ''some of the difficulties'' at Bermuda House. 

He said the CDHB would never continue to contract a facility to provide aged care without a current operating licence. 

''There's a need for an institution to comply with certification standards and we need to be satisfied that they are providing quality nursing,'' he said. 

He was confident all affected residents would be placed in appropriate rest homes throughout the city but said it was ''always unfortunate when frail, elderly people have to leave their homes''. 

Ministry of Health chief medical officer of health Dr Don Mackie said there had been a ''series of concerns'' relating to health and safety of the residents. 

''Most of these concerns have not been addressed adequately or in a timely way and for these reasons the facility has not been recertified.''

Documents obtained by The Press under the Official Information Act showed the ministry has received six complaints about Bermuda House since 2000. 

The audit carried out this year was on the back on complaints about clinical oversight, incident and falls management, medication management and access to GP services. 

In 2000 the ministry received a complaint about poor hygiene, bad food and inappropriate use of restraint. 

Bermuda House owner Arlen Carter today declined to speak to The Press.

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- The Press

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