Rodent traps found in dining area of Kilkenny disability home

Evacuation route in St Michael’s blocked with debris and chairs during May inspection

A Hiqa inspection of Kilkenny disability home St Michael’s found it to be understaffed, inadequately resourced and unclean with two rodent traps found in the dining room in one of two bungalows.

A Hiqa inspection of Kilkenny disability home St Michael’s found it to be understaffed, inadequately resourced and unclean with two rodent traps found in the dining room in one of two bungalows.

 

An inspection of a Kilkenny disability home found it to be understaffed, inadequately resourced and unclean with two rodent traps found in the dining room in one of two bungalows.

The inspection of St Michael’s, one of five units operated on a single campus by St Patrick’s Ltd on Kells Road in Kilkenny, was carried out after the Health Information and Quality Authority was notified of a potential issue of staff misconduct at the home.

Inspectors found the investigation had been undertaken in accordance with the centre guidelines.

A separate unit in the campus, Our Lady’s unit, became the first disability centre to have its registration cancelled last month after Hiqa inspectors raised concerns relating to fire safety and other issues at the unit.

The inspection of St Michael’s, which was carried out in May, found an evacuation route was blocked with debris and chairs while improvements recommended as part of an engineer’s report in June 2014 in relation to fire safety had not been implemented.

Inspectors reported cobwebs visible in many areas of the centre, flooring in disrepair throughout and paint peeling from outer window frames and doors.

Residents of the two bungalows, which between them house 25 residents with complex healthcare needs, were left sitting for long periods without any interaction with staff.

Although staff working in the centre were found to be respectful of the residents’ dignity the inspectors concluded that the centre was understaffed, citing a number of cases where staff who had gone to work elsewhere or who were on leave had not been replaced.

The inspectors concluded the centre was “not adequately resourced to ensure the effective delivery of care and support in accordance with the statement of purpose”.

Other issues raised by inspectors included restrictive practices, a failure to support residents in control over their finances and around the management of healthcare records.

In a detailed response, St Patrick’s Ltd committed to provide appropriate staffing levels and said a full-time nursing position and 85 extra health care hours had already been introduced at the centre.

It said a new systematic approach to cleaning had been introduced and that works were scheduled to make improvements to residents’ bedrooms, to replace floors and windows.

In a second inspection report relating to a residential centre for 10 children aged between five and 18 on the same campus, inspectors noted that one child was inappropriately placed in respite for seven months.

Despite concerns being raised by the centre’s human rights committee, the child was making a two-hour round trip to attend school each day.

The report found children who needed psychological or occupational therapy did not have access to those services, with one child waiting seven months for a psychological assessment.

In its response to Hiqa, the centre management said full assessment processes had begun to meet those needs highlighted in the report and said a comprehensive assessment of all new children will be carried out prior to them accessing respite care in future.