Wednesday 26 June 2019

Sunbeam 'working towards compliance' at centres in Bray area

HIQA Reports identified issues at residential facilities

Mary Fogarty

HIQA reports have been published on three residential centres operating in the Bray area by Sunbeam House Service. Sunbeam has notified HIQA of its intention to close one of those centres, Clara, for extensive renovation

In a second centre, the systems for the quality and safety of care, including risk assessments, required improvement. The provider's oversight, governance and management arrangements of another centre required urgent review to ensure that the assessed needs of residents were provided for at all times in an effective and timely manner.

CEO of Sunbeam House Services Hugh Kane said that the organisation is working extremely hard towards compliance. He said that there have been vast improvements.

'If something is non-compliant we fix it as soon as we possibly can. There and then if possible,' he said, adding that the national average is 70 per cent compliant, which Sunbeam now exceeds. 'Sunbeam pays really serious attention to these matters,' said Mr Kane.

He said that last year their compliance rate was at 69 per cent, and is now back to over 80 per cent. He said that many of the issues identified in the reports have been resolved already.

The four-bedroom Clara house provides respite breaks for clients, who told inspectors that they enjoy their time there. Management told HIQA that they are moving to a new location. That premises didn't have enough areas for sleeping with the sitting room being used for staff sleeping areas in the evening. Staff will now have two separate areas for sleeping, leaving the sitting room and kitchen free at night for residents.

At Parknasilla, a residence for nine adults, the inspectors visited on July 12 and spoke with four residents.

Residents reported that they liked living there, were happy with their rooms, had a range of social and learning activities to engage in and got on well with staff. They also informed the inspectors that they could talk to any staff member at any time about any issue they may have.

To address non-compliance issues, Sunbeam has agreed to have fire doors installed by February 18. They also agreed to ask a management company to address difficulties with the patio area, and install grip bars at the external entrance to aid a client with mobility challenges.

To comply with premises regulations, they said that the carpeting will be replaced by October 31. The kitchen will be repaired and the counter and missing doors will be replaced by October 31.

The provider committed to update and review all risk assessments.

Dunavon, home to eight clients, was inspected on June 8.

Some residents expressed satisfaction with aspects of the service they received such as the choice of food options made available to them, some of the activities they were supported to engage in to include social outings and they way in which they were supported to maintain positive family relationships.

However, a number of residents reported that the house was too large, too noisy and not always accessible (to include the back garden). Those spoken with said they would like to avail of day activation services and would like to have more staff on duty so as they could engage in more social activities. The inspector met briefly with all eight of the residents and saw that the ground floor of this centre was a noisy and busy environment. It did not lend itself to a homely environment, the back garden was not easily accessible for residents with mobility issues and the kitchen was not accessible to residents at times during the day.

Staff interactions with residents appeared positive and residents seemed comfortable and at ease in the presence of staff.

The inspection found that the provider's oversight, governance and management arrangements required urgent review. They found that some social care activities and healthcare appointments had to be cancelled or rearranged.

HIQA took the unusual step of issuing the provider with an urgent compliance document directly after the inspection, requiring written assurance regarding fire safety procedures and staffing arrangements.

The staffing arrangements in place were also impacting on staffs capacity to evacuate residents from the centre in a safe and timely manner during fire drills. With two staff on duty at night, it was taking up to eight minutes to evacuate residents during fire drills. Many had significant support requirements, and some required staff encouragement and prompting.

Staff had no alternative but to leave some residents unaccompanied at the fire assembly point during fire drills as they both had re-enter the house to support other residents evacuate, the report stated.

One resident was being locked into their bedroom at night time as it was reported they would not settle otherwise.

Because the kitchen was deemed to be an unsafe environment for one resident, the centre decided to prohibit all residents from entering or using their own kitchen for certain periods of time every day.

Inspectors found that the garden was not accessible for residents, who expressed dissatisfaction with this issue.

Sunbeam has employed two part time relief staff and three existing staff members had their contracted hours increased, thereby increasing 1:1 hours with residents.

They committed to meeting all appointments and said that no appointment will be cancelled due to staffing.

A review is under way to allocate some day service hours to the centre. The accessibility of the back garden is under review and works are planned to make this area freely available to all residents. A ski pad has been purchased and training implemented, as an alternative way of evacuating.

Extra staff support has been provided to assist with fire evacuation at night-time. A third staff member is available from the nearest centre to support evacuation (without impacting the operation of that centre). This staff member will support the residents outside at the fire assembly point and the evacuation will continue with the staff allocated to this centre.

Bray People