Categorised | Local, News, Victoria

Nursing home owner surfaces in Melbourne

Avondale nursing home in Kilkenny was shut in July 2011. (Pic: RTÉ News)

An Irish nursing home owner who was accused of abandoning residents and stealing money from clients has been managing an old people’s home in Melbourne.

Miriam Holmes, who is accused of “reckless abandonment” of residents in her care at the Avondale nursing home in Kilkenny has until recently been managing the Plumpton Villa facility in Glenroy.

Ms Holmes’ daughter Hayley has also been working as a clinical care co-ordinator in the 90-bed nursing home.

According to the Irish Times, the two women were directors of the Avondale nursing home in Kilkenny, which was closed in July 2011 following serious concerns over the safety and health of residents by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

The Gardaí are also investigating allegations that the pair stole several thousand euro, medication and public service cards from residents there.

The two women have not been seen in Ireland since boarding a bus heading for Dublin Airport on July 22 last, the day after the home was closed.

Gardaí found a brochure on beginning life in Australia in their hotel room near Dublin airport, where they stayed the night of July 21.

Contractors at the Glenroy facility confirmed that Ms Holmes and her daughter had worked there for several months.

Craigcare, which runs the Glenroy home, included a picture of Miriam Holmes in its newsletter dated summer 2011. It listed her as “facility manager” for Plumpton Villa.

In a note introducing herself, Ms Holmes said that she had been in Aged Care Management for over 25 years in England and Ireland, as well as working as a nursing home inspector in London.

She also said that along with critical care co-ordinator Hayley she was in the process of completing a master’s degree in dementia care.

The Craigcare Plumpton Villa website currently states that the facility is run by “an experienced and wonderfully caring team of nursing and allied health professionals”.

 The Age reports that Craigcare chief executive John Gillett refused to answer questions about whether his company had checked the credentials of the mother and daughter, other than to say ”check your facts”.

Gardaí are still seeking to speak with both women over care breaches and allegations from several residents that money was stolen from them.

Under the Irish 2007 Health Act, the authority may bring prosecutions against nursing home owners who breach care regulations, which incurs a maximum fine of €70,000 ($86,357) or a two-year prison term.

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