As this matter affects older people, in the main, I am glad that the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, Deputy Áine Brady, is present as I raise this question this evening. Loughloe House has been used as a residence for over 30 years. It currently deals with 26 residents. I suppose its numbers have varied over the years. That is, by and large, the amount of residents it would have at any one time. We all approve of the Health and Information Quality Authority. We approved of its role as a standards body when the legislation came before this House. Its mission is to ensure that private and public nursing homes and residences are of a particular standard. Officials from the authority have visited Loughloe House in Athlone to that end. I do not know how many visits they have made. When the Minister of State replies to me, perhaps she will be able to tell me how many visits were made and when they were made.
People have complained that the authorities in Loughloe House did not know when the inspectors were coming. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle knows from his teaching days that one is not meant to know when inspectors are coming. If one knew they were coming, one would be shining and polishing, stitching and hemming, and having everything beautiful. The Minister of State is aware that HIQA inspectors are meant to call unexpectedly so they can see how the home is run on any given day. They visited Loughloe House on two or three occasions. When will the report setting out the findings of the inspectorate's visits to this facility be issued? I refer to the report which led to the HSE's announcement of its decision to close Loughloe House. That is the first question. There was no intimation of this decision before it was announced. It was not forecast. There was great shock when the news became known.
We all know that much older people are very sensitive about everything. Many people have made Loughloe House their home. They have no landing place other than Loughloe House. I would like to put on the record the level of professional care, commitment and support given by all who work in Loughloe House to its residents. It is a huge level of commitment and support. I understand that HIQA has particular issues with ceiling heights, bed space, adequate recreational space and various other aspects of care in homes such as this around the country. How many visits were made to Loughloe House? When will the draft report to the HSE midlands area become a full report? I acknowledge the legalities involved and that one cannot allow a report to come out that would in any way lead to legalities being invoked because nobody wants that. More important, what arrangements will be made for each person? HIQA-approved nursing homes in the neighbourhood have been trawled for available beds. There would be no point closing one home and sending the residents to a home that is not HIQA-approved. When will that exercise be concluded? The most significant issue for residents leaving what was their home is knowing that they will be moved to a home that is nearby in order that their loved ones and friends can continue to visit them without too much disruption. Are full and proper arrangements being put in place for the residents of Loughloe House? I would also like to establish the lead in to what happened.