Sunday 11 December 2016

A final indignity: elderly unwashed for month by HSE

Published 22/07/2015 | 02:30

St Patrick’s, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
St Patrick’s, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim

Vulnerable elderly people were left a month or more without a shower or a bath in a nursing home run by the HSE, a damning report has found.

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Some residents also suffered the indignity of dying in old-style wards with only a thin curtain for privacy.

A litany of problems at St Patrick's Community Hospital in Summerhill, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, was described last night as "absolutely unacceptable".

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found there was a shortage of staff, particularly with the right skills, qualifications and experience to meet the needs of residents.

The facility is home to 82 people over the age of 65, including some with dementia or who are receiving palliative care.

The most recent figures show that it costs €1,374 a week to stay at the care facility.

During two days at the home, inspectors found that some residents had suffered repeated falls and were not adequately protected from further injury.

Fire-evacuation plans were not in place and a number of patients were also left in bed all day because of a lack of appropriate seating.

Justin Moran of Age Action Ireland told the Irish Independent the inspection report made for "distressing reading". "It is absolutely unacceptable for an older person, for anyone, to be left unwashed for weeks at a time," he said.

Irish Independent

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