Poor toilet facilities in HSE home
Residents in a HSE-run nursing home have to use commodes because the toilets are located so far away.
The old-style surroundings in the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon also mean that elderly residents are living in wards with as many as 11 beds, an inspection report revealed.
They have to be assisted for as long as 23 metres to the nearest toilet or bathroom, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) report disclosed.
The inspection follows ongoing concern about the living conditions of many vulnerable residents in public nursing homes which date from the 19th century in some cases.
Health Minister Leo Varadkar said yesterday the main problem was with old infrastructure and about €400m-€500m was needed to modernise public nursing homes.
Earlier this week, it emerged that residents in St Patrick's Community Hospital in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim were sometimes without a bath for several weeks due to staffing shortages.
The inspectors who made an announced visit to the Sacred Heart Hospital in March found that it also suffered from staffing shortages particularly in the evening and at weekends.
When a resident was very ill and required a lot of staff supervision, there was a knock-on impact on other very dependent residents who required the support of two staff.
Overall, the centre was well-managed and the residents and their families were satisfied with the home, it found.