Hiqa raises concerns over running of Galway nursing home


HEALTH INFORMATION and Quality Authority inspectors have raised serious concerns about the running of another private nursing home in Co Galway.

In a report, the inspectors said they were very concerned about the inadequate response of Oranmore Nursing Home to allegations of abuse and its failure to take suitable and sufficient measures to protect one of the residents. Details of the allegations are not contained in the authority’s five inspection reports on the home.

Earlier this week it published inspection reports that found some residents at Owen Riff nursing home in Oughterard, Co Galway, had not had a bath or shower for a month. The Health Service Executive has taken over the running of this home.

While Oranmore Nursing Home has retained its registration, Hiqa inspectors criticised a lack of progress on improvements ordered in their previous reports.

They also expressed grave concern about an inadequate response to a serious medication error and measures to protect the safety of residents, and the provider was instructed to take immediate action on these issues, the third time it had received such a warning since last December.

The inspectors found that while progress had been made on some of the actions required on foot of previous reports, this was insufficient to allay their concerns or to meet the official regulations.

They said risk-managements systems were inadequate and identified a number of risks to residents that were not being managed. New staff had not received mandatory fire training or training in manual handling, and fire exits continued to be obstructed.

Some progress was noted in the management of restraint, patient falls and nutritional care but further improvements were required. Improvements were also required in arrangements to ensure staff were suitable to work in the centre and were trained properly.

In its response the home said all staff had been reminded to be extra vigilant for the possibility of abuse, and the director of care was undertaking additional supervision to protect residents from abuse. Staff had also been provided with fire training.

Meanwhile, a threat to deregister the Stella Maris Nursing Home in Athlone has been lifted after the owners made significant improvements to the premises and its operations. Last year Hiqa inspectors expressed serious concerns about the safety of residents at the home. They demanded the appointment of additional staff to meet concerns over fire safety, instructed the person in charge to improve her focus on management and stated that residents did not always receive timely access to healthcare.

However, in a report published yesterday, they said five out of six actions required by the authority had been carried out. The centre was described as warm and its staff as friendly and welcoming.

A separate report on Leopardstown Park Hospital in south Dublin was also positive. The operator was praised for delivering strong leadership and a high-quality service to residents, though the “institutional nature” of the building was criticised.

Eleven nursing homes have been closed on foot of inspections by Hiqa over the past two years.