SINGAPORE: A nursing home in Telok Kurau had its licence revoked after failing to comply with licensing requirements, including those related to COVID-19 safety, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday (Aug 4).
The Thian Leng Old Folks Home "has a history of repeated non-compliance with licensing requirements", said the ministry in a statement, adding that it had noted areas of non-compliance since May 2019, resulting in closer monitoring of the home.
Subsequent inspections found that much of the non-compliant behaviour continued to remain unsolved and in 2020, MOH also noted areas of non-compliance related to COVID-19 precautionary measures implemented to safeguard the staff and residents from infection.
Precautionary measures for nursing homes were announced after a COVID-19 cluster was reported at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home in April.
These include barring visitors, using alternative ways such as telephone and video calls to facilitate interaction between caregivers and residents, safe distancing and asking staff members not to go to work if they are unwell.
When visitors were allowed at the homes in June, other measures such as dedicated visitation areas and a visitor limit were imposed.
“To further support and assist the Home, MOH had facilitated the secondment of professional staff to the Home on at least four separate occasions to help strengthen the clinical oversight, care processes and operations, and to provide guidance on measures to be implemented to address the lapses,” MOH said.
However, MOH said it continued to detect lapses in the home’s care standards, which put the safety and wellbeing of residents at risk.
The home also failed to sustain a “significant portion” of the improvements introduced, it added.
“As such, the Home’s licence has been revoked on Jul 31, 2020 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents are not put at risk,” the ministry said.
The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is assisting affected residents and their next-of-kin to make alternative care arrangements in the period before the home ceases operations.
“To date, all residents in the home have been placed in alternative care arrangements, such as in other nursing homes. MOH and AIC have also facilitated the re-employment of staff from the Home to other nursing homes,” MOH said.
Thian Leng Old Folks Home has been informed that they may apply for a new licence to manage and operate a nursing home in the future, provided they are able to meet the prevailing licensing requirements, it added.