Friday 18 August 2017

Workers told to put disabled resident 'outdoors' - inspectors

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Staff at a Westmeath care home were instructed to put a vulnerable resident with an intellectual disability "outdoors" if they showed any challenging behaviour, according to disturbing documents uncovered by inspectors.

Conditions in the HSE-run St Peter's facility in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, caring for nine residents in two houses, led to inspectors having to undertake a series of urgent actions including ordering no more admissions.

The two-day inspection in December also led to a complaint about fire safety risks being made to the local fire authority, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) report revealed.

Inspectors uncovered 36 breaches of care including:

  • Some residents had unexplained bruises.
  • Inadequate staffing including one nurse shared between two community houses at night.
  • Access to a fire assembly point was via steps, even though some residents were in wheelchairs.
  • No fire drills were carried out and staff said they would be unsure of what to do in the event of an outbreak.
  • Medications were stored in the food fridges in an unsecured location.
  • Residents had to use commodes at night even though they were mobile.
  • One resident regularly engaged in socially inappropriate behaviour, comprising their dignity and upsetting others.

The HSE said the bruising was being investigated and a plan is under way to improve the quality of services as ordered by Hiqa.

Irish Independent

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