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Elderly in HSE home not fed for 24 hours

SOME patients in the largest Health Service Executive (HSE) run home for the elderly were left without food for up to 24 hours, a critical inspection report has revealed.

The inspectors made the disturbing finding after they visited St Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park in Dublin where nearly 200 elderly are cared for.

Although a later Health Information and Quality Authority inspection found several of the weaknesses being addressed the newly published report on their first visit late last year revealed:

• Some residents were not fed for 24 hours because tube feeding was not available as prescribed.

• They were without the proper nutrition for up to three days.

• Thirty absences of residents without leave were reported to the risk manager over six months.

• Sections of the hospital were in poor repair. There was evidence of dampness on ceilings, a leaking roof and a lack of toilets, baths and showers.

• The hiring of agency staff was carry out by administrators rather than clinical or nursing staff.

• The home was still not fully registered because the fire authority had not given it the all-clear.

The inspectors set out an action plan for management and a follow-up inspection this year showed improvements although some weaknesses were still outstanding.

Irish Independent