Staffing level concerns at nursing home

Hiqa has raised concerns over staffing levels at a nursing home.

The inspection report was one of the latest to be published by the watchdog.

The St Colmcille’s Nursing Home, of Oldcastle Road, Kells, in Co Meath, is operated by Fáinleog Teoranta and had 35 residents on the day of the inspection. 

It was compliant or substantially compliant with half of the standards assessed in the inspection and had just one major non-compliance.

Hiqa said it triggered the inspection following receipt of unsolicited information — the second time this has happened — alleging issues, including inadequate staffing.

Hiqa said the atmosphere within the centre was homely and comfortable and that residents appeared to be well-cared-for. However, staffing was not appropriate.

An earlier inspection had concluded that a review of staffing levels was required but, at the latest inspection, Hiqa was told the nursing staff complement had again recently been reduced from two nurses to one nurse, from 4pm to 8am each day.

The report outlined a number of concerns, including that to help prevent residents from falling, one staff member was required to stay in the vicinity of the sitting room at all times, when residents were in this room.

“Therefore, resulting in only three staff being available to assist residents in the busy evening period, and whenever the nurse was busy, this number was reduced to only one pair of staff available to provide direct support for the 27 residents with high/maximum dependency care needs,” it said.

“The inspector noted that concerns in relation to the amount of time staff had to provide residents with assistance had also been raised by some residents.”

The centre’s operator committed to an action plan to address the issues.


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