Concerns raised over fire safety standards at nursing home in Limerick

An inspection report into a nursing home in Limerick has raised concerns over a ‘Do not attempt to resuscitate’ decision, regarding a resident, and also over fire safety standards.

The inspection of the Good Counsel Nursing Home, on the Kilmallock Road, in Limerick, carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority, was “triggered by a pattern of concerns received by the authority” and followed up on an earlier inspection.

Of the 10 headings checked, the centre was fully compliant in two, and majorly non-compliant in three.

According to the report, published yesterday: “Inspectors identified that a number of actions had not been satisfactorily completed in relation to ongoing review of the quality and safety of care, healthcare, smoking arrangements, and restrictive practices.”

An area of major non- compliance in the category of health and safety resulted in an immediate action being issued on the day of inspection in relation to inadequate fire safety training arrangements.

One concern that had been raised on a previous occasion was in relation to smoking practices at the centre.

According to the report: “The providers explained that they actively discouraged smoking outside of the dedicated smoking area but this was not always successful and some residents were resistant to such suggestions.

“Inspectors entered bedrooms on permission of residents and observed burn marks on one set of bed-sheets.”

The inspection also found four staff had neither participated in a fire drill nor received fire safety training, while untrained staff had been rostered on night-duty, an arrangement described as “not adequate to ensure the safe evacuation of all residents in the event of a fire from the designated centre”.

Concerns were also raised about the administering of medicines, and there was also an issue regarding end-of-life wishes.

While inspectors found that care plans were in place for residents who were unwell to guide staff, “a ‘Do not attempt to resuscitate’ (DNAR) decision was made by one nurse in consultation with the resident’s family”.

This was not in line with part four of the National Consent Policy, which states this duty rests with the most senior healthcare professional with responsibility for an individual’s treatment and care.

In response, management at the centre said changes had been made and committed to addressing all concerns.

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