28 staff members quit nursing home

An unsolicited tip-off led health inspectors to discover that 28 staff members had resigned from a Laois nursing home in a four-month period last year.

The latest tranche of 15 inspection reports by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) found areas of major non-compliance at four nursing homes in Laois, Kildare, Cork and Dublin.

In the case of Droimnin Nursing Home in Laois, HIQA carried out a two-day inspection of the centre following receipt of “unsolicited information of concern”.

“The concerns alleged issues on inadequate staffing and a poor quality of care provided to residents. Evidence found during this inspection did substantiate these concerns,” noted the report.

The inspectors found that 28 members of staff (20 full-time positions) had resigned in the five months prior to the inspections in December 2017 and that “staffing levels were inadequate to meet the care and welfare needs of residents”.

As a result, a temporary hold was placed on all new admissions to the centre until such time as the staffing complement is stabilised and that the care delivered is safe.

Four of the files reviewed by inspectors did not have any nursing assessments carried out on admission. There was clear evidence that the gaps or absence of assessments had a direct, negative impact on residents’ wellbeing.

For example, one resident admitted with a condition that required regular pain medication did not have any pain assessment on file or a care plan directing staff on how best to manage the pain when reported.

Another resident with a history of seizures did not have any care plan to direct staff on how best to manage any seizure activity.

In a number of the files reviewed, there was no care plan developed in relation to specific needs.

At the Elm Hall Nursing Home in Kildare, HIQA inspectors found a lack of corporate governance and “evidence of major non-compliance” was identified within the governance and management of the centre.

This impacted on “the health and safety of residents, risk and fire safety management and staffing arrangements”.

HIQA inspectors had to issue an immediate action plan to the provider representative during the inspection in relation to significant risks identified that included inadequate fire safety arrangements, staff training and awareness and a lack of simulated fire evacuation drills.

HIQA found that the management systems at the centre had been ineffective and that this led to “poor standards and unsafe arrangements”.

“All reasonable measures to protect residents from all forms of abuse or neglect were not sufficiently maintained or demonstrated due to recurrent turnover of staff and lack of governance and oversight arrangements,” said the report.

At the Skibbereen Community Hospital operated by the HSE, HIQA found that, similar to previous inspections, the privacy and dignity of residents were greatly compromised by the continued major non-compliance and unsuitability of the premises.

For example, there was a shortage of storage space. Residents were required to share multi-occupancy bedroom accommodation and there was a lack of sufficient wardrobe provision for personal belongings.


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