Hiqa finds Covid-19 shortcomings at two elderly care facilities

Hiqa finds Covid-19 shortcomings at two elderly care facilities

A private nursing home and a HSE-run elderly care facility did not have adequate staff or plans in place to manage Covid-19, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found on inspection last year.

In the latest tranche of nursing home inspection reports, Hiqa highlighted shortcomings in the management of Covid-19 at two Mayo facilities.

At one private nursing home in Ballyhaunis, inspectors found that previously identified shortcomings had not been addressed and that the facility was not sufficiently staffed to identify, manage, control, and document an outbreak of Covid-19.

The Brookvale Manor Nursing Home was home to 36 residents when it was re-inspected in November last year, following an earlier inspection in June.

Staffing levels were “low” and “inconsistent”, in particular in the area of nursing and housekeeping staff, which impacted on infection control and the supervision of residents, two of whom had fallen in the intervening period.

A review of nursing records also found “repeated poor practice” and gaps were also evident in fire safety requirements.

Outbreak not managed

Hiqa inspectors also identified shortcomings at a HSE-run residential facility for older people in Ballina that was dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19.

At the time of inspection last October, 22 residents and 26 staff had tested positive for Covid-19 at St Augustine’s Community Nursing Unit.

Inspectors found, however, that the outbreak was not being effectively managed and infection prevention and control was not appropriately monitored.

There were not enough housekeeping staff to maintain hygiene standards required during a Covid-19 outbreak and contract cleaners employed to carry out deep-cleaning were only available on the day of inspection.

Hiqa also found that senior management had failed to adequately oversee and support staff on the ground during the outbreak and also identified gaps in fire safety requirements.

At another HSE-run facility in Longford town, inspectors found that a Covid-19 outbreak involving two residents and five staff at St Joseph’s Care Centre was better managed but that the “poor premises” led to non-compliances in the area of fire safety and residents’ rights.

Of 35 inspection reports published on Thursday, 23 had non-compliance issues.

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