Sunday 21 July 2019

New Houghton passes surprise Inspector's test

The New Houghton Hospital in New Ross
The New Houghton Hospital in New Ross

David Looby

The New Houghton Hospital in New Ross has received a positive inspector's report from the Health Information & Quality Authority, which recommended a number of improvements to be made at the 44 resident facility.

The inspection of the Hospital Road residential centre was carried out on September 12 and September 13.

Out of 25 categories the hospital was fully compliant in 17, non compliant in three and substantially complaint in five categories.

The hospital's 24 staff came in for praise for the kindness and care they show residents who were complimentary about the care they received, saying they felt well supported and safe in the centre.

Most residents said they were happy living in the centre long term, however some residents in the multi-occupancy bedrooms said that they would have liked more storage space for their personal belongings. Residents told the inspector, who was carrying out the unannounced inspections, that they felt supported to remain independent and in contact with the local community in New Ross and were kept up-to-date about any changes to their health and about their social care needs. Residents had access to excellent food and a variety of healthy drinks, the inspector found.

The inspector praised hospital management, adding that many of the staff had worked at the New Houghton Hospital for a long time. The nursing home was described as homely, clean and comfortable.

The issue of limited storage for clothes and personal memorabilia in the multi-occupancy rooms was highlighted in the report, which was released last week by the Health Information & Quality Authority.

The inspector suggested that wardrobes provided to residents need to be bigger, while more space in the dining area is required for residents. 'A number of the multi-occupancy bedrooms continued to retain the appearance of four bedded hospital wards,' the inspector noted, adding that there was minimal and inadequate hospital-like furniture for residents.

Improvements to the inside and outside of the premises were recommended in relation to the maintenance of the centre.

'Externally, the premises had an overall neglected appearance. The sign for the hospital was faded to the point it was illegible,' the inspector said, adding that the car park surface was uneven.

Meanwhile the exterior plaster of the premises had numerous cracks and the paint work was worn and faded.

In the 'residents rights' category, better privacy screens were recommended in the multi-occupancy bedrooms, while concern was raised about the potential access by residents to cleaning liquids stored on the cleaning trolley and the 'intermittent, unrestricted access to the sluice rooms and staff rooms.'

Regarding end of life care, the hospital was praised for providing two single bedrooms for family members of residents reaching the end of their lives.

New Ross Standard