Tuesday 12 December 2017

Residents at risk due to 'poor and unsafe' managing of drugs

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

ELDERLY residents at Greenhill Nursing Home were left at risk due to the "poor and unsafe" manner in which staff managed their drugs.

An unannounced inspection of the Carrick-on-Suir home also criticised the measures taken to prevent falls.

Residents at the €820-a-week home were at "high risk from burns and injury", and were not supervised while smoking.

The raft of criticisms emerged during an inspection last February of the 54-room single-storey, purpose-built nursing home set in landscaped grounds.

It revealed how one audit of records showed a resident was not given a medication that had been prescribed for them over the previous eight months.

Not all medications were reviewed within the recommended three-month time frame, the inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority reported.

The inspectors found that staff were not maintaining a complaints log and the last recorded entry was in 2009.

Staff who were spoken to did not have sufficient knowledge of the required controls for the safe management of soiled or infected linen and clothing.

A previous inspection had taken place in November 2009 when several of the issues had been brought to the attention of staff.

The February inspection led to the management being given an "action plan", setting out the areas to be rectified and the timescale in which they were to be completed.

In reply, it said it had reviewed the management of residents' medication with a pharmacist, GP and nursing staff. The person in charge had put in new procedures and practices, which would be audited.

Care plans were to be reviewed, and records are now being maintained to detail all accidents and incidents to "satisfy best practice".

The action plan also included an instruction to ensure that the authenticity of staff references is confirmed.

A residents' forum is being convened monthly to ensure issues raised are acknowledged, responded to and recorded.

Irish Independent

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