Nursing home had one staff member on duty for 44 residents

Hiqa found understaffing at Lystoll Lodge in Kerry created risks for those living in facility

A nursing home in Co Kerry had just one staff member duty over a weekend to look after 44 residents, inspectors fro m a health watchdog have found. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

A nursing home in Co Kerry had just one staff member duty over a weekend to look after 44 residents, inspectors fro m a health watchdog have found. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

 

A nursing home in Co Kerry had just one staff member duty over a weekend to look after 44 residents, inspectors fro m a health watchdog have found.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said that while staff levels at the Lystoll Lodge in Listowel had increased over recent months, a shortage of workers was still a significant issue at the facility.

“This was a high risk practice as supervision was not robust on these occasions, hence the risk of a resident missing a meal was higher and a medication documentation error was seen to have occurred,” the report states.

“Inspectors found that a resident in the upstairs sitting room appeared distressed and was perspiring. Inspectors were required to call a staff member to attend to the resident. In addition, an external contractor was observed to look for a staff member in the upstairs section, however, he was seen to have to go downstairs to locate a member of staff.”

The inspectors said that these issues were viewed as significant because some residents had high levels of needs and their visitors required information and support.

Inspectors also found that an investigation into an allegation of an abusive interaction had not been followed up with appropriate actions and that there were issues with the recording and verification or nurses who administered medicine. A number of concerns raised indicated that not all staff were aware of what constituted verbal and psychological abuse, Hiqa said.

‘In a temper’

For example, residents had complained of rushed care, being dressed “in a temper’’ and not being given a bell prior to the carer leaving the room, as well as a poor ‘’attitude’’ on the part of a small number of staff.

Complaints had been made in relation to inadequate support and care at end-of-life, however, Hiqa found staff had not been afforded training in this aspect of care.

“As a result, inspectors could not be assured that all staff were aware of best practice in holistic end-of-life care to include emotional support for all involved,” the report states.

In response to the inspection, the centre said an additional clinical nurse manager and two senior staff nurses had been recruited. Additional training and policies were also put in place, it said.

The report was one of 60 nursing home inspections released on Monday, of which 40 were found to be compliant with regulations and standards.

In the remaining 20 centres, inspectors found evidence of non-compliance, with providers failing to ensure that the service delivered to residents was effectively monitored in line with regulations and standards.

There was non-compliance in various areas including end of life care, protection of residents, risk management, managing challenging behaviour and on residents’ rights.