Residents facing move as care home to close after 42 years

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Work has begun to find alternative accommodation for 16 residents of Rathowen Care Home in Tandragee after it announced its decision to close.

Thirty staff are also employed at the home which said its decision to close was due to “ongoing difficulties in recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced nursing staff”.

A statement released on behalf of owners Mr and Mrs Watt said, “It is with deep regret that we announce the closure of Rathowen Care Home within the next 28 days after 42 years operating as a nursing home.

“The voluntary closure of the privately-owned home will affect 16 patients and 30 staff. The owners Mr and Mrs Watt will be retiring once the last patient has been placed in alternative accommodation.

“Management will work to ensure that patients, relatives and staff are kept informed throughout the closure transition, and in consultation with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, ensure the transition is carried out with the highest concern for patient care.”

A Southern Trust spokesperson said the trust is working closely the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the home to ensure a safe transfer of the residents to alternative accommodation.

The statement added, “The trust has assigned individual key workers to work closely with each of the residents and their families to find alternative accommodation so they can receive safe, high quality care in a suitable environment which meets their individual needs.”

Councillor Paul Berry spoke of his “real shock and sadness” at the announcement. He said, “I have known residents and staff in this home and my heart goes out to all effected by this announcement. Many of the residents lived locally and have resided in Rathowen for years so this closure will have unimaginable worries for all involved and effected.”