Tuesday 23 January 2018

Inspector tells judge nursing home was 'custodial'

Claire O'Brien

SERIOUS failings in management, safety and hygiene have been outlined in a health service application to have a nursing home de-registered.

Residents were left in cold rooms and nurses wore three cardigans to work, dead spiders were found in saucepans and faecal matter was left on a bathroom grab-rail for hours, inspectors for the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) told Tullamore District Court in Offaly yesterday.

Maureen Flanagan, director of Upton House, Clara, Co Offaly is challenging HIQA's application for permanent de-registration of her nursing home.

A temporary order made last month effectively closed the facility. New accommodation was found for the 13 residents.

Health Service Executive staff who took over from Mrs Flanagan and her staff found the building unsafe as there was no way to effectively evacuate residents in an emergency.

With no lift, elderly people took up to five minutes to climb the narrow stairs.

Inspectors also found an array of hygiene and management problems.

HSE medical personnel found five people, including a woman they hospitalised for dehydration, suffering with a rash, and all residents were treated for suspected scabies.

Mrs Flanagan cooperated with four inspections between September 2009 and October 2010, but later failed to provide plans of action to show how problems would be remedied.


She claimed the first draft report was "a hatchet job" designed to ruin her reputation and that of the nursing home.

The court heard she'd ordered a resident to leave the nursing home after her sister made a formal complaint about the facility and Mrs Flanagan.

Inspector Marian Delaney Hynes said care was provided "in a custodial manner". Residents' food and toilet needs were met but there was "very little interaction or activity".

Complaints were not logged, injuries weren't reported to HIQA and patient details were not updated.

'Mr S' who had epilepsy and suspected bleeding of the brain was left for five hours before being hospitalised after a fall. He later had four holes drilled in his skull at Beaumont Hospital to relieve pressure.

Mrs Flanagan and her witnesses have yet to give evidence and the case was adjourned to December 2.

Irish Independent

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