Friday 19 January 2018

Resident of nursing home dies in 11-bed ward

Health Minister Leo Varadkar
Health Minister Leo Varadkar
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

An elderly resident of a HSE-run nursing home had to spend their final days in an 11-bed ward, another inspection report has revealed.

Inspectors who visited St Joseph's Community Hospital in Millstreet, Co Cork, in March found that while the resident received appropriate and timely care, they were forced to be looked after in the large ward.

"If this resident indicated a preference for a single room, this could not have been facilitated," the report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said.

The inspectors were highly critical of the cramped and outdated living conditions of the 26-bed home, comprising two 11-bed dormitories, a twin bedroom and two single bedrooms.

The chief inspector was not notified of the unexpected death of one resident. The inspectors also found potential cross-contamination risks.

They found that while the care was of a good standard, the conditions of the old building affected the dignity of residents.

The inspectors reported inadequate communal space for residents, a lack of sanitary facilities and a lack of storage space for personal belongings.

The Hiqa report is the latest in a series of reports showing many vulnerable elderly residents are still living in outdated public nursing homes although they are costing well over €1,000 week.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday paid a visit to St Patrick's Community Hospital in Summerhill, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. Another Hiqa report revealed how vulnerable elderly people living there were sometimes left for more than a month without a bath due to staff shortages,

A spokesman for the minister said he was reassured about the standard of care by staff. He was informed that the problems relating to bathing had now been addressed.

Relatives of residents also spoke of their confidence in the staff.

Irish Independent

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