Eleven nursing homes closed in the last two years following inspections by the State’s health watchdog, it has emerged.
The latest nursing home ordered to close was the Owen Riff nursing home in Oughterard, Co Galway — although the facility is currently being run under the care of the HSE.
Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) had secured a district court closure order last month after expressing grave concern for the safety and welfare of the home’s residents.
HIQA confirmed that, since 2010, it secured closure orders for six nursing homes while a further five were refused registration and subsequently closed.
Other homes issued with closure orders in the last two years:
* Avondale Nursing home, Callan, Co Kilkenny;
* Upton House Nursing Home, Clara, Co Offaly;
* Rostrevor Private Nursing Home, Orwell Rd, Dublin 4;
* Glenbervie Nursing Home, Sidmonton Rd, Bray, Co Wicklow;
* Creevelea Nursing Home, Laytown, Co Meath.
Homes that closed after registration was refused by the authority:
* Woodlock Nursing Home, Portlaw, Co Waterford;
* Woodside House Nursing Home, Fethard, Co Tipperary;
* Suirmount Nursing Home, Carrrickbeg, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary;
* Martin Hospital, Portlaw, Co Waterford;
* St Anne’s Nursing Home, Cashel, Co Tipperary.
Specialist health consultant Joe Wolfe, who analysed over 1,500 HIQA nursing home inspections, described the breaches found in the 11 closed homes as “considerable”.
He said the analysis supported HIQA’s contention it will only close a centre as a last resort.
“Each centre received, on average, five inspections before facing closure, with one centre receiving 10 inspections.
“Despite being given agreed action plans and considerable time to improve standards, an average of 17 months from first inspection, these centres did not adequately improve,” he said.
At the end of 2011, there were 404 private nursing homes, 48 voluntary nursing homes and 121 public nursing homes registered with HIQA.
Mr Wolfe from the Kilkenny-based Wolfe Group — which helps nursing homes prepare for inspection and registration — said the analysis was undertaken to see how their experience on the ground compared with official reports.
He pointed out HIQA inspectors made 813 visits to nursing homes in 2010 and 769 in 2011.
Frequent areas of non-compliance identified in inspection reports were welfare and protection, medicine, assessment and care planning and rights, dignity and consultation.
The regulation of the nursing home sector in 2009 followed sustained concerns about the quality of care in nursing homes that culminated in the Leas Cross scandal in 2006.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved