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HIQA inspection at St Oliver Plunkett Community Unit during COVID-19 outbreak found good infection control in place

Dundalk’s nursing home



An unannounced inspection carried out at the St. Oliver Plunkett Community Unit, during a COVID-19 outbreak found that the nursing home was ‘spotlessly clean’ and that good infection control measures were in place.

The inspection on June 29th 2022, came as the HSE nursing home was dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, according to the post-inspection report published on the Health and Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) website.

“The appropriate infection control practices were in place to reflect the current outbreak of COVID-19 in the centre,” the report states.” A walk around the centre assured the inspector that the centre was cleaned effectively and good infection control practices were being continuously implemented and monitored”.

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The premises was well maintained and was found to be spotlessly clean. An assessment of preparedness and contingency planning for a COVID-19 outbreak had been implemented by the provider. The inspector saw that the implemented contingency plan was effective in isolating the one identified COVID-19 positive resident on the day of inspection. Key resources, such as additional staff and appropriate infection control practice had been put in place to prevent further transmission of infection in the centre. These measures included all staff wearing FFP2 facial masks.

The centre can accommodate a total of 63 residents in two distinct units, St. Cecilias that accommodates up to 44 residents and St. Gerard’s (dementia specific unit) that accommodates up to 19 residents. There were 47 residents on the day of the inspection.

The inspector observed residents living in a relaxed and happy environment. Residents spoken with told the inspector they were happy with the care they received and felt supported to lead a good life

It was noted that the centre had undergone extensive refurbishment in recent years that has resulted in a variety of private and communal facilities for residents and a number of secure outdoor areas

Residents were observed to be content in the company of staff. Staff were observed sitting and engaging with residents on a one to one basis. This unrushed and calm approach to providing care was reflected throughout the nursing home. There were also a variety of activities each day.

Overall, the report found that there were “good governance and management arrangements in place to oversee the service and care provided, as demonstrated by continued good overall levels of regulatory compliance.”

However, the centre was found to be ‘not compliant’ in relation to the regulation regarding a directory of residents. Improvements were also needed in regard to training and staff development and medicines and pharmaceutical services.

The service provider had responded to HIQA outlining the measures which had been taken to ensure compliance under all regulations.