Non compliance in fire safety at Listowel Home

Stephen Fernane

Management at Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home in Listowel say it is working on addressing 11 areas of non-compliance in fire safety identified in a Health Quality and Information Authority (HIQA) report after unannounced inspections took place in November 2018.

"We accept that we had some non-compliances, but they have all been addressed since then. Everything has been put in place to fix what was wrong, basically," said Christine McElligott, Manager of Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home.

The home, which is located on the outskirts of Listowel, provides 24-hour care for 46 residents and is run by 50 staff. Among the breaches was a failure to identify significant gaps in records and risk identification and maintenance of fire safety systems. Fire safety and evacuation equipment needed updating, while unsafe storage of oxygen tanks in some residents' rooms was identified.

The report stated that inspectors could not identify - nor were the staff able to demonstrate at the time - appropriate assistive equipment for residents to enable them evacuate in the event of a fire. Fire evacuation 'ski-sheets' were not available for all residents, while fire drill records also failed to indicate if all the staff had attended a fire drill. The report also showed that some staff had insufficient training on fire drill safety. Fire doors at the home required an urgent review as they were 'incapable' of adequately containing smoke and fire.

Meanwhile, the staff roster was found to be incomplete at the time of the inspection with some staff members not included on the roster. This meant that the inspectors were unable to verify the full complement of staff proposed to be on duty during the inspection. Residents' records were also found to be 'inadequately' stored.

However, Lystoll Lodge was compliant in areas such as food and nutrition, storage and safety of residents' possessions, while visitors 'were plentiful' with residents being facilitated to go out with them and to celebrate special occasions with family and friends.  Responding to the report's findings, Ms McElligott said that Lystoll Lodge accepted the breaches and that it was working hard to amend issues of non-compliance in the home.

"We have put procedures in place to fix them and it has improved. Whenever you do find there are some non-compliances, they have to be addressed immediately and that's exactly what we did. We put everything in place and made sure all that needed to be done was done."