Limerick nursing home failed to investigate allegation of abuse

Health Information and Quality Authority inspected home after receiving information from third party

Beech Lodge Care home: Photograph from facility’s website

Beech Lodge Care home: Photograph from facility’s website


A nursing home in Co Limerick failed to respond or investigate an allegation of abuse by a staff member of a resident, an independent report has found.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) inspected the Beech Lodge Care facility in Bruree, Co Limerick, in May on foot of concerns about the safety and quality of life of residents, following receipt of unsolicited information from external sources.

The inspector found that one “very serious” abusive interaction had not been documented, addressed or investigated. A second incident of alleged abuse had not been investigated fully and adequate measures had not been taken to protect residents from further abuse, the report said.

Following the inspection, Hiqa issued an immediate action in relation to the removal of bolts from the doors of residents’ bedrooms in the dementia unit.

Hiqa also issued an urgent action plan in relation to the investigation into a safeguarding and safety concern and requested assurance that all residents were safe in the centre.

The provider was also asked to ensure the person in charge was the only person who had access to the master key for residents’ bedroom doors.

Action plans 

Hiqa says issuing immediate and urgent action plans is a rare step taken only when the inspector has serious and immediate concerns regarding residents’ safety and welfare.

Other issues also arose in the centre as a result of a staffing shortage, particularly in the dementia unit. The inspector saw a resident walking around the hall in the unit by himself, looking for a toilet, wearing just his incontinence wear and no pyjama pants.

The situation was addressed by the nurse, when she was alerted to the man’s predicament by the inspector.

In response, the service provider said the policy for safeguarding vulnerable people and risk of real abuse will be on the agenda for all future staff meetings. Safeguarding training is also being provided on the detection, prevention of and reponse to abuse.


The health and safety watchdog published 61 reports into nursing homes

on Tuesday. Some 41 of these centres were found to be in compliance with regulations and standards, while 20 were found to be non-compliant.

Inspectors identified non-compliance in a variety of different areas. including governance and management, training and staff development, residents’ rights, safeguarding and risk management.

In Macroom Community Hospital in Co Cork, inspectors found that the HSE and the provider “failed to ensure an effective and safe service was provided”.

Since 2010, the chief inspectorate raised concerns about the centre’s layout .

In the last inspection, the inspector imposed a condition to have the reconfiguration of the centre complete by the end of 2019.

This was to ensure that all existing and future residents were afforded appropriate dignity and privacy and to ensure that the premises met the diverse needs of residents.

However, the service provider said that no progress had been made on changing the centre’s layout.

As a result of the current layout, residents and staff have faced challenges with regards to using toilet and personal hygiene facilities. The centre currently has two showers and one bath which are shared between 38 residents.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, the HSE division with responsibility for the service in Macroom Community Hospital, said last night it would like to reassure residents that work is under way to address the issues raised.