Friday 24 November 2017

Report: HIQA got 373 reports of nursing home abuse

HIQA chief inspector Phelim Quinn
HIQA chief inspector Phelim Quinn

Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent

A HEALTH watchdog received 373 reports of potential or confirmed abuse of nursing home residents last year, a new report has revealed.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) was also notified of 95 allegations of misconduct by a home owner or a member of staff.

The disturbing claims were revealed in the first annual overview of findings from 697 inspection reports on nursing homes last year.

Chief inspector Phelim Quinn said they received 5,362 reports from difference sources, including relatives and staff, about nursing homes last year.

Three quarters involved serious incidents including injury, with 171 unexplained absences by residents.

It led to HIQA having to order nursing homes to follow up on 8,697 different actions to ensure they fully meet standards of care and safety.

Age Action Ireland spokesman Eamonn Timmins said: "The report not only highlights the great need which exists for an independent inspection authority, but also the need for nursing home management across Ireland to improve their service when it comes to issues of health and safety and risk management."

More than one in four of the actions imposed on public and private nursing by HIQA involved fire drill concerns.

In 18pc of the actions managers and owners were told to ensure that staff had suitable training in fire prevention.

Nearly six-in-10 homes were found wanting in the area of ordering, prescribing, storing and administering medicines to residents – as well as the handling and disposal of unused or out-of-date drugs.

HIQA found problems at 134 centres regarding the contracts between homes and residents, with documents lacking full details of services and fees.

It highlighted 165 actions needed to bring homes into compliance on these contracts, which allow the resident to know what is covered, and what they must pay extra for.

There were 303 actions required in 174 centres to make homes comply with regulations regarding residents' safety.

Several homes were also required to address weaknesses in managing and recording residents' finances and effects.

Irish Independent

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