Residents in Co Wexford nursing home ‘frequently left wet having rang bell’ to use toilet - Hiqa

State’s healthcare regulator criticised serious staffing shortages in Castlebridge Manor nursing home

Residents in a Co Wexford nursing home regularly wore incontinence pads as they could be left waiting up to four hours to be attended to by staff when they needed to use the toilet, an inspection has found.

The State’s healthcare regulator criticised serious staffing shortages in Castlebridge Manor nursing home, Co Wexford, which it said were impacting on the quality of care provided to residents.

A Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) inspection found residents in the care home who were not incontinent wore incontinence pads, due to long delays in staff coming to their assistance when they needed to use the toilet.

An inspection report said one resident told Hiqa inspectors that they were “frequently left wet having rang the call bell” as staff were too slow to respond. Residents reported having to wait for up to three or four hours before being attended to in some cases.

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One resident who needed to use the toilet told a Hiqa inspector there was “no point” in ringing a bell to call for assistance, as “they won’t come”.

The inspection said higher dependency residents “spent the day in their rooms” with the television on in the background, having “very little engagement with staff”.

The report, published on Monday, found residents were unable to shower daily, with a weekly shower rota in place.

“While management stated that the rota was to ensure that all residents had a shower weekly, a number of residents expressed that they would like a shower more frequently,” Hiqa said.

There were 82 residents living in the nursing home at the time of the inspection on August 23rd. Inspectors said the private company who run the home, Castlebridge Manor Private Clinic Ltd, were aware of the staffing deficits.

However, the company “had continued to admit new residents to the centre in the absence of stable and safe staffing levels,” the report said.

Company records show the nursing home is owned by an Irish collective asset management vehicle, Jwp Icav.

The inspection found many staff were working extra shifts to cover others out sick, with one healthcare assistant working 120 hours in a fortnight, which Hiqa said was “not sustainable”.

There was a “high level of staff absenteeism” in the nursing home, with remaining workers reporting being “burnt out” from covering extra shifts, Hiqa said.

The provider had “shown a lack of capability” to address the staffing problems facing the care home, it said. The nursing home failed to meet seven of the ten standards Hiqa had assessed during the inspection.

Another inspection found there had been a failure to address “significant” fire safety risks in a Ballinasloe nursing home run by Aperee Living.

The private nursing home group has been under major strain in recent months, with Hiqa shutting three of the ten homes it runs, due to concerns for the safety of residents.

An inspection of the group’s nursing home in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, said previously promised works to remediate fire safety shortcomings had not begun.

The report said the regulator was concerned about Aperee’s ability “to sustain a safe quality service” for the 33 residents in the care home. Inspectors said while the day-to-day service was satisfactory, the governance and management of the nursing home was lacking.

The inspection said a review of bank statements revealed that “on numerous occasions there were insufficient funds available to adequately resource” the nursing home. The report found the nursing home did not meet four of the eight standards assessed during the inspection.

Aperee was founded by David O’Shea’s Cork-based investments firm, the BlackBee Group, with Mr O’Shea the sole director of Aperee Holdings Ltd until recently.

Late last month Aperee was bought by a consortium of Irish investors led by Paul Kingston, a previous chief executive of the nursing home group, who had left after a dispute with Mr O’Shea last year.

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Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times