Categorised | Local, News, Victoria

Aussie nursing board acts on Irish care duo

Avondale nursing home in Kilkenny was closed in July 2011.

An Australian nursing board has placed conditions upon the future work of two Irish nurses, after it learned that they were the former directors of a Kilkenny home shut down by health authorities.

Miriam Holmes and her daughter Hayley, who ran the Avondale nursing home in Kilkenny before it was shut down amid concerns over the health and safety of patients, had until recently been employed by the Plumpton Villa facility in Melbourne.

Ms Holmes denies accusations of ‘reckless abandonment’ of residents, as well as the theft of money, medication and public service cards from clients in the Kilkenny home.

Shortly after Ms Holmes and her daughter left Ireland, she was appointed as facility manager at the nursing home in Glenroy, Melbourne. Her daughter Hayley Holmes was appointed as a clinical care co-ordinator.

The pair no longer work there.

According to Ms Holmes’ solicitor Patrick Moylan, she is willing to be interviewed by Gardaí and will challenge the allegations made against them.

However the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Victorian Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia have implemented a number of conditions on the pair before they can work as nurses in Australia.

Prior to resuming practice as registered nurses, Miriam and Hayley Holmes are required to provide AHPRA and the Nursing and Midwifery Board with the contact details of their employer or any change in employer, the name and contact details of the director of the nursing manager or equivalent management within seven days of commencing employment.

They are also required to advise AHPRA and the Board as to the outcome of the current investigation by the Irish Nursing Board, An Bord Altranais, and any decision by that Board or the relevant court or authority regarding her registration as a nurse in Ireland, within seven days of a decision being made.

Gardaí are continuing to investigate allegations from several residents that the two women stole money from them.

Residents made these complaints to authority inspectors after the home’s closure.

The pair could also face prosecution by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) for multiple breaches of regulations designed to keep vulnerable residents safe.

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

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