Cobh nursing home residents left waiting six hours at sitting room table for planned activity

Cobh nursing home residents left waiting six hours at sitting room table for planned activity

Residents at Cobh Community Hospital were left sitting at a table for six hours waiting for an activity to begin.

A scathing inspection report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) found that the nursing home, which is run by a voluntary board of management and a large cohort of community volunteers "failed to ensure that an effective and safe service was provided for residents".

The report, one of 34 published by HIQA, found that on one of the days they inspected the nursing home in January of this year, four residents had been left at a table in a sitting room from 11am until 5pm waiting for a planned activity.

"Family members had come in to support residents and had brought in prizes. No staff member informed them that there had been a cancellation of the activity and the reason for this and they were left sitting at the table from 11am until after tea at 5pm. They expressed their extreme disappointment to their relatives and to inspectors," said the report.

Residents also informed HIQA inspectors that they usually spent teatime in the bedrooms and were only having tea in the dining room because inspectors were present.

Inspectors found that the majority of residents were not facilitated to avail of the dining spaces or sitting rooms.

It said that, as found on previous inspections, the majority of residents sat by their beds during the day and for meals, resulting in their daily lives often being "devoid of social events such as those presented by having meals together".

Residents also told inspectors that they found that wheelchairs were often used instead of walking opportunities due to staff being busy and the distance to travel to some activities.

Relatives told inspectors that if they did not come in at mealtimes their residents would be served their meals in bed or by the bed.

Due to staff shortages and resultant lack of supervision, not all residents were facilitated to get up in a timely manner or afforded showers.

One relative stated that her mother was still in bed at 2pm one day and another stated that she had to clean her relative's nails when visiting.

Another relative told HIQA inspectors how she had to shave the resident when visiting, while another arranged for a private physiotherapist to come in due to lack of walking opportunities.

Some sections of the centre were dirty and "a deep clean was required".

The issue of cleanliness was raised in a previous inspection in October 2018. Relatives explained to inspectors that they often brought in disinfectant wipes to clean their relatives' rooms.

HIQA found that governance and management of the centre were not "cohesive, effective or comprehensive" and that there had been "a breakdown in communication between management and staff".

HIQA said that the nursing home also had a high level of sick leave which resulted in there being a shortage of staff on a daily basis.

Records were not securely stored and were kept in an unlocked cupboard.

Access to the hairdressing room in the centre was through an office where a large number of records were seen stored on open shelves and on a desk. Residents, relatives and external contractors had access to this area.

However, HIQA also noted that the majority of residents enjoyed living at the centre, enjoyed the food, music and exercise sessions and praised the attention and care of staff.


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