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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Care home 'put lives at risk'

Registration cancelled as litany of hazards exposed

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

ELDERLY people in a nursing home deemed to be a serious risk to the lives of residents sustained injuries, were over-medicated and left at risk of MRSA.

The Glenbervie nursing home in Bray, Co Wicklow, had its registration cancelled in the local District Court yesterday after its owners Noel and Ann Gillooly failed to challenge legal action taken by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

All 27 residents of the home have been transferred to other facilities after health service staff moved in when an interim order was granted following grave concerns by inspectors who failed to secure improvements in care over several months.

Newly released reports revealed how inspectors eventually had to move to seek its closure at the end of last month amid concerns there was a risk to the life or health and welfare of its residents.

It revealed:

  • Inspectors found one resident suffered a broken hip after a fall when she was unsupervised in the bathroom.
  • Another resident sustained a cut and bruising on her face, while staff were confused over her care. The fear was that she would suffer another injury.
  • A resident with challenging behaviour was heard shouting, but it later emerged he received medication to calm him down on 18 occasions in 11 days with no records maintained.
  • Another resident had an infected wound, which turned out to be positive for MRSA, but the person received poor nursing care and two care assistants told inspectors there was no MRSA in the home. This left others exposed to infection.
  • Recruitment practices of staff were unsafe and a kitchen assistant was also working as a care assistant with no experience of the role. She received no training in the safe moving and handling of residents, leaving them at risk of injury.


Concerns emerged after the home was first inspected by HIQA in September last year. Several other visits followed.

The inspectors continued to have grave worries about the failure to manage hazards faced by residents who had diverse and complex needs.

There had been no sustained improvement in the care of the residents or quality of service provided.

In February, Wicklow County Council served a fire notice on the home after they found many of the fire escape routes included steps, despite several residents being immobile.

Over the course of several months, inspectors observed:

  • A nurse giving eye drops to a resident with poor technique after she failed to wash her hands.
  • There was no suitable weighing scale for residents who could not stand, leaving them at risk of becoming seriously underweight.
  • Accidents suffered by residents were not consistently recorded.
  • There was no restraint assessment in place for some residents who had lap belts and bed rails prescribed.

Another report recorded how staff on night duty were spending a considerable amount of time doing cleaning duties and were not supervising residents.

Mr Gillooly was not available for comment last night.

A spokesman for HIQA said this was the first closure of a nursing home under updated legislation which saw the watchdog take over inspections from the Health Service Executive (HSE) in July. It acknowledged Mr Gillooly co-operated fully with the HSE and provided access to all relevant records.

Irish Independent

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