Monday 20 November 2017

Nursing home residents forced to go without washing for weeks - HIQA report

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent

Residents in HSE-run nursing home were forced to go without a bath or shower for a month or more because of staff shortages, a damning inspection report has revealed.

St Patrick’s Community Hospital in Summerhill, Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim is home to eighty two residents over the age of 65 years, some of whom have dementia or are receiving palliative care.

However, shocked inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found a litany of risks and poor standards of care when they visited over two days in March.

Residents were only offered a shower once every two weeks but on occasions when they declined a bath or shower , or if there were no staff available on that particular day, they had to go for a month or longer without a proper wash.


The report revealed:

* Fire safety equipment had not been installed as per HSE’s response to previous actions.

* There were a significant number of falls in this centre and some residents had fallen repeatedly and were not adequately protected from further injury.

* In one unit the fire, doors were not connected to the fire alarm system and there was no magnetic door release them to ensure they closed and compartmentalised in the event of a fire. In addition; there were gaps in-between some fire doors that had existed since previous inspection, despite assurances that they would be addressed.

* Risks such as fire evacuation and personal evacuation plans were not in place

* Fire safety equipment had not been installed as per provider's response to previous actions.


The inspectors found that since the last inspection some improvements had been  made.For  example; in two of the units staffing levels had been increased so that adequate staffing was available at the high support need times

But  there was no activities coordinator available to organise activities for residents.There were not sufficient staff with the right skills, qualifications and experience to meet the assessed needs of residents.

They also found that medication practices were not adequately supervised to ensure they were done safety.

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