Cherry Tree relatives meet with Minister

Cherry Tree House Nursing Home. INCT 49-004-PSB
Cherry Tree House Nursing Home. INCT 49-004-PSB

Relatives of Cherry Tree House residents have met with Health Minister Jim Wells.

The meeting on Wednesday morning was facilitated by East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson, who has been involved in an ongoing campaign over the regulation of nursing and care homes.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson. INCT 41-758-CON

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson. INCT 41-758-CON

A review published in July last year indicated that the Carrick nursing home, located on North Road, had failed to comply consistently with minimum care standards during the period between January 2005 and March 2013.

The report was authored by an independent panel appointed by the RQIA (Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority).

Responding to the report last year, Cherry Tree management indicated that they would “carefully study the entire document” for the lessons that could be learned from it. “In the meantime we continue to be committed to working with our regulators to ensure we meet the standards our residents expect and deserve, and also to support stronger and improved regulatory processes where they improve the nursing and residential home care for older people.”

Speaking after Wednesday’s meeting, Mr Dickson expressed his gratitude to the Minister for taking the time to meet the relatives. “We welcome his commitment to the recommendations of the July 2014 review into Cherry Tree,” Mr Dickson added.

“However, now is the time for action in implementing these recommendations and holding those responsible to account. I and the relatives will continue to follow progress, and will be seeking another meeting in the near future.”

Speaking at the Assembly in December, the Minister indicated his department had “fully accepted the report’s 22 recommendations” and was working with the relevant HSC organisations to ensure that they are implemented as soon as possible.

“My department is also reviewing the minimum standards for nursing homes,” Mr Wells added.