Wednesday 18 September 2019

'No evidence of Garda vetting' for 26 staff in nursing home run by the HSE

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Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A HSE-run nursing home had 26 staff for whom there was "no evidence of Garda vetting", inspection reports by the watchdog have revealed.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published 35 inspection reports on nursing homes, showing a "high level" of non compliance, breaches in fire regulations and a failure to Garda-vet staff.

Highlighted among others was St John's Community Hospital in Co Wexford, a facility run by the HSE, where there was "no evidence of Garda vetting for 26 staff".

The Co Wexford provider was also found to not be taking adequate fire safety precautions.

Also highlighted was East Ferry House, in Midleton, Co Cork, which had a "high level of ongoing non-compliance with the regulations".

A sign for the storage of oxygen contained "incorrect information".

This was found to be "significant" as "oxygen contains highly combustible material".

However all staff had taken fire training and the fire alarm was sounded weekly.

Hiqa said that findings from an inspection in January this year "demonstrated" the provider hadn't taken the necessary steps to "ensure the service was safe, appropriate, consistent and effectively monitored".

The facility had also "failed to ensure the service met the needs of residents... particularly in terms of infection control, staffing issues, staff files, medicine management, notifications and personal accommodation".

And "risk management was not robust, and there was no risk register in place".

The report found that management had taken "some positive action" to address the issues and overall residents received a good standard of care.

Attempts were made to contact East Ferry House for a comment on the report last night.

A HSE run facility, St John's Community Hospital was found to have failed to Garda- vet 26 staff members.

"Inspectors saw the person in charge had made efforts to ensure the documentation was in place but it was not available at the time of the inspection.

"Immediate action was taken to address this and the staff members were not permitted to attend work until this was completed."

This error had meant that for a time "vulnerable residents were not safeguarded by robust recruitment policies".

Inspectors also found that fresh drinking water wasn't available to all residents.

And there were no jugs in day rooms during the inspection.

The majority of residents did not have fresh water at their bedsides.

But the inspector found a "clearly defined organisational structure".

And most service users were satisfied with the facility and staff.

Irish Independent

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