Thursday 25 December 2014

Patients were unclean and emergency exits locked at care home

Published 08/08/2014 | 02:30

The report concluded that infection prevention and control practices were poor
The report concluded that infection prevention and control practices were poor

Inspectors found patients to be generally unclean and fire exits were locked at a care home for people with disabilities.

An investigation carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) discovered inadequate shower and toilet facilities at the Grove House Centre in Co Cork.

The Authority carried out the investigation of the centre which is operated by the HSE in March and ruled it failed to comply with the 2007 Health Act.

Grove House, located on the grounds of St Mary's orthopedic hospital, is a closed unit for 30 people who have an intellectual disability, autism, or challenging behaviour.

On the day of inspection it had 21 patients in its care.

The report concluded that infection prevention and control practices were poor.

There was also a shortage of wash-hand basins which could be availed of by staff. The basins were unclean and showers and baths were dirty.

Toilet facilities were of poor quality and did not take account of the privacy and dignity of the residents.

Fire safety precautions were inadequate and all exits including emergency exits were locked.

Access could only be gained by way of keys in the possession of staff members.

According to the report, the Centre carried out a fire safety audit, which found that annual fire training was not completed by all staff and the fire alarm was not routinely sounded.

It was also discovered that not all staff had completed the required training in lifting techniques and manual handling.

A number of staffing issues were also highlighted such as over reliance on overtime and agency staff.

HIQA says the Centre will be subject to further inspections in the future, although it has submitted a number of proposals, as to how the shortcomings listed can be corrected.

Gretta Crowley, Operations Manager, HSE South, said that prior to the HIQA inspection an ongoing training programme was in place.

But, she said, the findings had highlighted "gaps" in the system.

However, she said the procedure whereby staff are the only ones with keys to emergency exits will be retained.

"That is in the best interest of the individuals who are resident in the house," she said.

She said a relevant "rolling programme" regarding fire safety is now in train.

Irish Independent

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