Whistleblowers suspended after raising concerns about nursing home

Senator says two staff members highlighted staff misconduct and allegations of elder abuse

Two staff members at a Galway nursing home have raised concerns about elder abuse.

Two staff members at a Galway nursing home have raised concerns about elder abuse.

Thu, Jul 17, 2014, 13:28

Two whistleblowers employed at a nursing home have been suspended after raising concerns over over the treatment of residents, the Oireachtas heard today.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said staff had raised serious concerns over the care of patients at Áras Cois Fharraige, a 42-bed nursing home near Spiddal, Galway.

Two staff members had been suspended, he said, despite the passage of new whistle-blowing legislation aimed at protecting employees who make complaints in the public interest.

“This is a serious issue which needs to be brought to the attention of the Minister for Health,” Mr Ó Clocheartaigh told the Seanad.

The manager of the home, Patricia Folan, declined to comment when contacted earlier today om the basis of legal advice.

In an announced inspection last May on foot of complaints, the Health Information and Quality Authority raised concern that it had not been notified about “serious events” which occurred at the home, as required under care regulations.

In addition, allegations of elder abuse and staff misconduct had not been notified to the authority within the required time-frame.

Others findings which emerged as part of the inspection were that there were not enough trained staff to meet the needs of residents at all times.

A spokesman for Hiqa declined to comment except to say the home was inspected earlier this summer and it was part of its normal inspection process to undertake repeat inspections.