Care home resident required treatment in hospital after ingesting latex gloves

A St John of God’s care home, where a resident required hospital treatment after ingesting latex gloves, is still failing to safeguard its charges, despite repeated warnings from the health watchdog.

Ravenswell in Bray, Co Wicklow, was threatened with having its registration cancelled by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) on February 21.

However, a Hiqa inspection on March 2 found while improvements had occurred, residents’ rights and dignity were not being upheld. For instance, residents were observed using the toilet with the door open while others waited outside.

The centre can accommodate 12 intellectually disabled people for both respite and residential care.

Hiqa said 14 people were using respite beds on a rotational basis.

However, residents were “not necessarily compatible” with those sharing their home and living space.

“There was no evidence of residents having any choice, control or consultation in terms of the persons their homes were shared with,” inspectors said.

They said governance and management of the centre “remain a concern” and that Garda vetting was not in place for a member of the management team.

In its response, St John of Gods said Garda vetting would be re-submitted to Hiqa in relation to one staff member and that a “spring closure” had been put on the toilet door to enhance privacy. Also, each resident would be assessed using a compatibility tool and a protocol had been put in place for management of latex gloves.

A spokesperson for Hiqa said they were “currently engaged with the provider to bring about improvements in this centre, and will make a decision on the centre’s registration once this process is complete”.

Meanwhile, a home run by the Cheshire Foundation also came in for criticism for management of residents’ finances. Hiqa said a number of residents at Cara Cheshire Home in Dublin City did not have appropriate control/ access to their personal finances.

Residents’ monies were paid into an account, not in their names. Hiqa said their inspector “was very concerned that in reviewing resident account documents that an excess of €1825.79 was not appropriately accounted for”.

Inspectors were also concerned about inconsistencies in resident contracts for provision of services. For instance, residents were paying different amounts for the same services. Inspectors found one was being charged more than others “because they would not disclose their means to the provider”.

There was also a vacant nursing position, unfilled for two years. Hiqa said this had resulted in a lack of an appropriate skill mix in terms of clinical oversight. In response, the home said residents would be supported “to avail of personal safes or personal bank accounts” and that a full-time staff nurse had been recruited.

Furthermore, Peamount campus run by Peamount Healthcare in Dublin was criticised for not meeting the social care needs of its intellectually disabled male residents. Hiqa also said there were insufficient staffing levels with some residents left unsupervised during the first day of inspection.

In response, Peamount said residents’ social care needs schedules had been reviewed and additional activities added and additional staff employed to facilitate more outings.


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