Lucan Lodge Nursing Home now faces scrutiny by independent medical staff after an inquest heard an elderly woman died of pneumonia, skin ulceration, cystitis and dehydration.
Elizabeth Donovan, 98, died in May last year and “must have been in a great deal of pain” when she died, Dublin County Coroner’s Court heard this week. She died weighing between 35 and 40 kilogrammes and was last seen by a doctor six weeks before her death.
Dr Kieran Geraghty recorded a verdict of misadventure into Ms Donovan’s death, adding he would instruct health authorities to inspect the 72-bed Dublin home.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) yesterday said an independent check of the facility would proceed “as soon as can be organised”.
But health chiefs refused to immediately release any inspection details of the home prior to the elderly woman’s death.
The HSE requires Freedom of Information requests to release previous reports which can take months when challenged by a home.
When contacted yesterday, the home’s owner Tanya Patterson was unavailable for comment. However, the home’s nurse manager said: “At the moment, we’re not making any comment. We’re waiting for the inspection team.”
Converted from a family residence into a nursing home 21 years ago, Lucan Lodge’s facilities are “unrivalled anywhere in the country” and it aims to “provide the highest quality care available in Ireland today”, according to its website.
The modern facility, which also includes a 15-bed Alzheimer’s unit, received a clean bill of health in an inspection carried out after Ms Donovan’s death.
Visited by inspectors on August 8 last year, around 10 weeks after the elderly lady’s death, Lucan Lodge was found to be “in compliance” with care regulations.
However, elderly support group Age Action yesterday stressed inspecting the home was a matter of urgency.
Nursing home residents still had no greater protection than when neglect was exposed at Leas Cross two years ago, stated the group’s head of advocacy, Eamon Timmins.