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Dad deemed unfit to live alone is returned to his flat after fire

By Kieran Hughes

The family of a North Belfast man say they don’t know why their father, who suffers from dementia, has been allowed to live alone in his Ardoyne flat after being deemed unfit to care for himself last year. Tommy Inglis was moved back in the Flax Street flat in April after spending seven months at the Owenvale Court care home in West Belfast after being told he was unable to care for himself.

The care home is facing deregistration after regulatory body the RQIA last month said they have identified a range of concerns at the Owenvale Court Residential Home. In April Ardoyne woman Kathleen Fegan died after suffering from extensive burns from a fire which broke out in her bathroom in the care home.

Tommy Inglis’ daughter Colleen says he was moved back to Flax Street after the fire and she has called on the Belfast Health Trust to urgently address her father’s care.

Last month 65-year-old Tommy sustained a badly cut face after an accident at the Flax Street house. When the North Belfast News visited the flat there were no carpets on the floor, the washing machine wasn’t working and the bathroom wasn’t cleaned.

His daughter Colleen says he needs help and the care he is currently receiving from social workers isn’t sufficient.

“He was in Owenvale for seven months and we were told that he couldn’t return to the flat. Then there was the fire in Owenvale and he was moved back to Flax Street,” she said.

“He went into the Mater Hospital Flat 10 in June last year and they decided he couldn’t live alone so he was moved to Owenvale but now a year later he is dumped back out again and he is worse off than he has ever been.

“He can’t get his clothes washed, there is no heating, he can’t get a shower, he has no phone to contact anyone, the place is a mess. The carpet was lifted. He was sitting last week without any food. It’s getting worse and we need to move fast.”

Since the accident on May 23 Tommy has been living with his ex-wife Shiela in Brompton Park.

“We want to know what this is happening and why he has been left in this position in this day and age,” she said.

Belfast Trust had not responded to our press query at the time of going to press.


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