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SWD's position on licence renewal of private elderly home in Tai Po

     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) served a notice on Tai Po Cambridge Nursing Home Limited this morning (May 29) stating the department's intention to refuse its licence renewal application, an SWD spokesman said today.

     The privately run residential care home for the elderly (RCHE) is situated at Wan Tau Street in Tai Po. Its licence is due to expire on May 31. The SWD, in accordance with Section 10 of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, served a notice on the licence holder stating the department's intention to refuse to renew its licence, and, according to the stipulation in the Ordinance, specifying that the applicant or the licence holder may make written representations on the matter to the Director of Social Welfare. The SWD has required that written representations, if any, have to be submitted within one week. After considering the representations, the department will then make a decision on the application for licence renewal. The licence of the RCHE, however, shall remain in effect until a decision is made.

     The SWD spokesman said, "Social workers of the SWD have started to contact the affected residents and their family members and specially set up a designated help desk. Residents and their relatives who wish to enquire about residential care arrangements or have difficulties in searching for elderly home places may contact the designated help desk at 3183 9356 or call the SWD hotline 2343 2255. Tai Po (South) Integrated Family Service Centre of the SWD will render appropriate assistance to ensure proper residential arrangements for the affected elderly residents."

     According to the latest information, presently there are abundant vacant places in the private elderly homes in Tai Po to provide residential care services for all the affected residents.

     The spokesman stressed that the SWD will not tolerate any act of elderly abuse. The Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (LORCHE) will definitely handle any suspected elderly abuse cases seriously and will immediately initiate investigation and take follow-up actions.

     He reiterated that all the on-site inspections conducted by the LORCHE are surprise inspections without prior notice in any form to the RCHEs. All the supervisory officers of the LORCHE will conduct audit checks randomly to ensure the inspection quality.

     While the licence of the elderly home concerned remains in effect, the elderly home will be under the close monitoring of the LORCHE to ensure that the interests of the elderly residents are protected.

     The SWD has all along attached great importance to the quality of RCHEs. The Ordinance provides for the licensing and regulating mechanism for RCHEs. The Code of Practice for Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) issued in accordance with the Ordinance sets out the principles, procedures, guidelines and standards for the operation, keeping, management or other control of RCHEs for compliance by the operators.

Ends/Friday, May 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:14


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