Monday 26 August 2019

26 hospital staff at St John’s not Garda vetted

Suitable actions are taken to rectify the issues identified

Brendan Keane

A HIQA report relating to an unannounced inspection of St John's Community Hospital in Enniscorthy found that 'appropriate' garda vetting was not in place for 26 staff members.

However, the report noted that the person in charge 'had made efforts to ensure the documentation was in place but [that it] was not available at the time of inspection'.

'Immediate action was taken to address this and the staff members were not permitted to attend work until this was completed,' noted HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority) in its report which related to an inspection carried out at the hospital on May 13.

The hospital can accommodate 116 residents and on the date of the inspection there were 114 on site.

Overall the report was very positive with residents saying they were happy with the service provided. The inspectors also received favourable comments with regard to the food and choices available to residents.

The report said a number of residents expressed a preference for a single room while being accommodated in a four-bedded room, however, others said it wasn't a problem as there were 'sufficient screens around the beds'.

Significantly, residents said they felt safe in the centre and that staff were always around when needed.

The HIQA inspectors said that a good service was provided for residents but noted that 'immediate improvements were needed to ensure that recruitment practices were in line with regulations'.

'Improved oversight is required to ensure that previously identified non-compliances are addressed together with appropriate action to address non-compliances identified at this inspection and bring about necessary improvements,' said the inspectors in their report.

They also noted that a clearly defined organisational structure was in place and that the person-in-charge on the date of the inspection was a registered nurse who worked full-time in the centre and had the required experience nursing older people.

'While there were adequate staff on duty at the time of inspection, there is an ongoing requirement for agency staff,' noted the inspections in their report.

'Several vacancies remain unfilled which could impact on the continuity of care provided to residents.'

The report said the person-in-charge demonstrated good knowledge of residents living in the centre and their individual care needs.

With regard to volunteers working in the centre the inspectors found the hospital to be 'substantially compliant' and that the volunteers provided 'valuable social activities and services for residents' and evidence was also available that all volunteers had appropriate vetting in place.

The person-in-charge submitted notifications to HIQA, in line with regulatory requirements, and when inspectors followed up on a sample of the notifications they received they found that suitable actions had been taken.

The complaints procedure in place at the centre to handle any complaints received was also found to be 'substantially compliant'.

Overall the premises was seen to be of good standard and in keeping with its own statement of purpose.

With regard to health care the inspectors noted that residents had access to a range of healthcare professionals, however, they also stated that some improvement was needed with regard to activity programmes.

They also highlighted that on day two of the inspection 'there was no noticeable activities in any of the resident areas despite a programme on display'.

With regard to the garda vetting issue the response from the centre to HIQA was that 'all staff have been garda vetted and disclosures [are] on file'.

Enniscorthy Guardian