Inspectors fault Dublin residential home for mould, rust, ‘malodour’ and ‘unhygienic smell’

Mayo centre told by Hiqa to improve infection control after inspectors find dirty oven

A Co Mayo residential centre has been told to improve its infection control after inspectors found a dirty microwave oven.

Some arrangements at Tower Lodge, a HSE-run centre accommodating up to seven people with an intellectual disability, did not protect residents from the risk of infection, according to a report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

Unannounced audits were not being carried out by the provider every six months as required, and there were inconsistencies in the centre’s audit findings, the inspection report found.

The microwave oven in one house was recorded as having been sanitised daily, but was found by an external auditor to be dirty internally and externally.


Hiqa inspectors found the centre was clean and well-maintained and said residents enjoyed a good quality of life.

An inspection report on a St John of God-run centre in Sallynoggin, Co Dublin, criticised “poor decorative upkeep and repair in many areas of the premises” that increased the risk of spread of infection to residents and staff.

Inspectors also noted an “unhygienic smell” coming from bins and a “malodour” from a bathroom. They also recorded the following observations: “Shower curtains did not appear clean, liquid food stains observed on sittingroom wall, carpet badly stained in a resident’s bedroom, rust on shower taps and overall shower head and hose old and worn, cover on resident’s comfy chair located in resident’s sittingroom, stained, length of tubing coming from kitchen cooker, extractor fan unclean with grease”.

Dustpans and brushes were worn and needed replacing, the diningroom floor was badly scraped, the front door was peeling and the extractors fans in some bathrooms were covered with a heavy layer of dust.

“Mould was observed in a number of areas in the designated centre, for example, the timber surrounding a Velux window was damp and mouldy, mould observed on the ceiling of a residents’ shower. Mould was observed on tiling around cooker and fan areas.”

The centre has been told to rectify 19 infection control breaches by the end of June.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times