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SWD intends to revoke Certificate of Exemption of private residential care home for persons with disabilities in Kwai Chung
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) served a notice on Bridge of Rehabilitation Services Limited at noon today (October 20) stating the department's intention to revoke the Certificate of Exemption (CoE) in respect of Bridge of Rehabilitation Company, an SWD spokesman said today.
     The privately run residential care home for persons with disabilities (RCHD), Bridge of Rehabilitation Company, is situated at Wo Tong Tsui Street in Kwai Chung. Its CoE is due to expire on March 31, 2017. The SWD has served a notice on the CoE holder stating the department's intention to revoke the CoE issued in respect of the home according to section 11(4) of the Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance, and stating that the CoE holder may make written representations on the matter to the Director of Social Welfare. If there are written representations, they have to be submitted within one week. After considering the representations, the department will then make a decision on the revocation of the CoE in respect of the home.
     The CoE in respect of the RCHD concerned will remain in effect until a decision is made. The operation and quality of the home will be under the close monitoring of the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the interests of the residents with disabilities are protected.
     The SWD spokesman said, "There are currently 79 residents at the home. The SWD has immediately set up a help desk at the home so that family members of the affected residents could enquire about residential care arrangement matters. The help desk will operate for four days from 1pm to 8pm from today until Sunday. At the same time, the department has also started to contact the affected residents and their family members to provide appropriate and due assistance. Family members who encounter any difficulty in residential care arrangements for the residents may contact the designated support group set up at the Kwai Chung (West) Integrated Family Service Centre of the SWD at 3622 3605 for assistance. The department will ensure proper residential arrangements for all affected residents."
     The department has on hand the latest information about private RCHDs in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung. There are presently sufficient vacant private home places in the two districts to provide residential care services for all affected residents.
     The home could not fully meet the requirements within the specified period as stipulated in the directions given by the department on August 31 and September 9, 2016, under the Ordinance. Furthermore, the home still failed to comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice concerning its management and operation, and yet with no sustained improvements. After careful consideration and seeking legal advice, the SWD decided to take further action on the home and intended to revoke its CoE, the spokesman said.
     The spokesman stressed that the SWD has all along attached great importance to the quality of RCHDs. RCHDs with CoEs issued must comply with necessary requirements concerning home management and health care to ensure that the daily operation of the homes could reach acceptable standards in the course of making improvement works.
     He reiterated that the licensing office will step up monitoring over the homes with CoEs issued and enhance the quality of their services through a host of facilitating measures, including providing subsidies under the Lotteries Fund for the homes to carry out improvement works, providing additional support for improving home management and services, and strengthening training on management. The SWD has also been discussing with all homes in respect of which CoEs are issued to expedite their improvement works so that they could meet the licensing requirements.
     The Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance commenced operation on November 18, 2011, with the licensing office being established in the same year. The licensing system of RCHDs was fully implemented on June 10, 2013. For RCHDs that existed before the commencement of the Ordinance but are unable to comply fully with the licensing requirements, the operators may apply for a CoE in order to allow time for the homes to carry out improvement works for meeting the licensing requirements and standards.
Ends/Thursday, October 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:15
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