Almost half of nursing homes inspected were not up to standard

Hiqa report uncovers issues with protection, record-keeping, staffing and infection control

Hiqa published 49 inspection reports on public and private nursing homes, and found evidence of good practice and compliance with regulations and standards in 29 centres

Hiqa published 49 inspection reports on public and private nursing homes, and found evidence of good practice and compliance with regulations and standards in 29 centres

 

An infectious outbreak at a Co Limerick nursing home progressed from one to all residents sharing a room during the course of an inspection, according to a report.

The ability of St Ita’s community hospital in Newcastlewest to control infection was compromised by multi-occupancy rooms and staffing issues, the report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found.

Details are contained in one of 49 inspection reports on public and private nursing homes published by Hiqa on Thursday. The watchdog said its inspectors found evidence of good practice and compliance with regulations and standards in 29 centres.

However, in 20 centres, evidence of non-compliance was found in areas such as protection, record-keeping, staffing, premises and infection control.

The report on St Ita’s found it was failing to comply with regulations on providing a safe and effective service for residents. Insufficient action had been taken to improve accommodation –which is described as “institutional” – and quality of life.

Isolation

With most residents accommodated in three- or five-bed rooms, effective isolation facilities could not be provided, according to the inspection report.

“Accommodation in such multi-occupancy rooms detracted from efforts to create a homely and personalised environment. These multi-bedded rooms afforded limited personal space, privacy or storage for personal belongings.”

St Catherine’s nursing home, also in Newcastlewest, was found in a separate report to be operating in breach of the Health Act 2007 by having two dependent residents in unregistered beds, in a situation which had been in place for “a number of years”.

Beneavin Lodge in Glasnevin was found to be not compliant with six regulations. While residents were generally complimentary about their care, their families complained about a lack of continuity of care and said they found it difficult to get accurate information from staff about the health and wellbeing of their loved ones.

Complaints

Families also alleged complaints were not resolved and said they did not know who was responsible for managing complaints at the home.

Inspectors found improvements were required in relation to communication with residents and families, the systems in place to review the quality and safety of care provided for residents, and the management of resources in the centre.

They called for significant improvements to the way staff resources were managed and feedback from residents and families were handled.

Some staff were not fluent enough in English to communicate effectively with residents and their families, or to understand their needs or preferences, the inspection report found.