Friday 20 September 2019

Residents deprived of privacy and dignity in cramped HSE facilities


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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Conditions in a HSE-run nursing home are so cramped that elderly residents have no room to put a chair near their bed, according to an inspection report.

The inspection of St Finbarr's Hospital in Cork, which is an old building with multi-occupancy wards, found the physical constraints meant the residents had no chance to have any degree of dignity or privacy in their lives.

Residents were complimentary of the care they got from staff but there was limited communal space to allow residents to spend time away from their bedrooms to meet with visitors or just be alone.

Similar criticisms were made against St Joseph's Hospital in Ennis, Co Clare, where inspectors found that a resident was left exposed because there was not enough space behind a curtain when they were being administered care.

In one unit, there were just two showers available to 27 residents. There was only one accessible bath.

Some residents were unable to get a good night's sleep because one of their neighbours had to get up frequently at night.

The inspectors said the standard of cleaning was not adequate and there was a failure at the facility to ensure equipment was fully cleaned.

There were a number of residents whose files revealed they had infections. They said the premises would benefit from an infection-control audit.

Inspectors also criticised the lack of physical space in Killarney Community Hospital.

Lack of personal space between the beds meant residents could not make the space personalised and homely.

Hiqa extended the deadline for HSE-run nursing homes to replace or upgrade old buildings by the end of December 2021.

However, not all will be ready by that date, and around 45 will not meet the deadline. It is expected to be extended further because closure would not be advisable or possible.

Irish Independent

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