Criticism of Cherry Tree House is ‘unfair’

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

A Carrickfergus nursing home has spoken out against what it says is “unfair” criticism from a patients’ lobby group.

Management at Cherry Tree House was responding to a comment from Northern Ireland Patients’ Voice, which alleged that the North Road home had “failed” in its latest inspection.

In July 2014, Cherry Tree was the subject of an independent review from the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

The review highlighted that the home had “consistently” failed to achieve minimum standards of care.

However, management believe the home has since “turned the corner”, having addressed the issues highlighted in the review.

During a meeting of the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee on October 7, Commissioner for Older People Claire Keatinge said the 2014 review had been “damning”.

Referring to the most recent inspection on July 21, 2015, the commissioner added that four requirements and three recommendations had been made. She added: “There are a number of ongoing matters, but none is an enforcement action; they are all improvement actions.”

In a statement, Cherry Tree managment indicated that the Commissioner’s comments during the meeting must be taken in context of the 2014 review.

“At that time and for the preceding eight years, the home faced many challenges and, on an unacceptable level of occasions, had failed to get things right despite sustained efforts,” a statement from the home read. “Following the 2014 review, Cherry Tree House worked alongside the RQIA addressing every single issue of concern and in the last year these have been successfully dealt with to meet and better the standards required.

“We completely refute the unsupported claims made by the NI Patients’ Voice group, which ill serve public understanding of the provision of care for older people and how it is regulated.

“Unfair criticism not only undermines confidence in the staff delivering the service, but more importantly it can cause unnecessary upset for residents, and patients.”

The home’s manager, Emeliza Insauriga added: “Our last inspection report shows that Cherry Tree has turned the corner and made significant progress since the highly critical 2014 report. This is a credit to our dedicated staff and I wish to pay tribute to their committed and compassionate approach to the care of all our patients and residents.”