Concern at conditions in nursing home


An inspection of the Owen Riff Nursing Home in Oughterard, Co Galway, has expressed concern about the handling of an abuse complaint and found that insufficient measures were in place to protect residents from being harmed or abused.

The nursing home has been the subject of a number of critical reports by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa). In April, an interim order was made by Galway District Court cancelling the registration of the then privately run home on Camp Street, Oughterard. Since then, the HSE has been running the facility.

An unannounced authority inspection took place on September 25th and 26th. The report said the inspector was “very concerned” that an allegation of abuse had not been investigated.

The allegation had been recorded on a complaint form but the person in charge said she was not aware of this incident, and did not know what member of staff the allegation had been made against.

The report also expressed concerns about the safety of some immobile residents in the event of an emergency evacuation, the absence of an emergency plan and the inappropriate use of metal bedrails.

Some fire escape routes were not kept fully clear and were partially obstructed with flammable materials such as a trolley containing bags of laundry and a specialised wheelchair containing exposed foam.

It found that on occasions a door from the ground floor to the first floor was not secure and provided direct access on to the stairs.

Bags of soiled laundry were left open in the laundry room beside clean laundry.This room was also used to store and wash cleaning equipment.

The inspection also found that residents’ finances were not being overseen by the provider. An action plan from the nursing home provider stated that all actions required by the inspection team were either complete, or were in the process of being implemented.