Facility had just one member of staff looking after 17 residents - watchdog
Elderly people could have been injured in the communal room of a private nursing home where only one member of staff was on duty to look after 17 residents, an inspectors' report has revealed.
The inadequate staffing at Blackrock Abbey nursing home in Dundalk, Co Louth, was criticised by inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority who visited the home in September.
Inspectors observed that at times some residents were shouting out while others were engaged in responsive behaviours of the kind that people with dementia or other conditions use to express their physical discomfort or unease in their surroundings.
"Having only one staff member was not adequate," the report said.
Inspectors said one resident had to undertake a personal activity in the communal area in the presence of 14 other residents and staff.
A resident on the first floor experienced incontinence in the sitting room as staff were not available to provide timely assistance when called.
A separate inspection report highlighted the cramped conditions in which residents in the HSE-run Macroom Community Hospital are forced to live. The building dates from the 1930s and their dignity and privacy is affected.
The October inspection found that in spite of the best efforts of staff to minimise the impact of the confined space, there was a lack of easily accessible toilets and showers, a lack of wardrobes and beds too close to each other.
Some residents called out at night and kept others awake. Commodes were used at night when residents needed to go to the toilet.
Due to the layout of the multi-occupancy rooms there was no privacy for residents with dementia.