Overly restrictive visits to elderly in nursing homes among issues Hiqa report identifies

Overly restrictive visits to elderly in nursing homes among issues Hiqa report identifies

Non-compliance was identified in areas including; governance, residents’ rights, infection control, fire precautions, medicines and pharmaceutical services, staffing, and managing challenging behaviour.

The health watchdog has found a series of non-compliances at residential centres for older people, including one where “overly restricted” visiting arrangements were impacting residents’ quality of life.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found just 15 out of 45 centres were fully compliant or substantially compliant with the national standards and regulations at the time of their inspection.

Carried out between December 2021 and May 2022, levels of non-compliance with regulations at the residential centres varied in the 30 remaining reports.

Four centres were found to be non-compliant with three regulations, and 11 centres non-compliant with four or more regulations.

Of these inspections, non-compliance was identified in areas including; governance, residents’ rights, infection control, fire precautions, medicines and pharmaceutical services, staffing, and managing challenging behaviour.

Hiqa inspectors found that the visiting arrangements in place at Larissa Lodge Nursing Home in Donegal when it was inspected in March were not in line with the current national guidance.

“This was impacting the residents' quality of life and wellbeing," the inspection report notes. Inspectors noted that the overall feedback from residents was that the staff at the centre were kind and caring. 

Visiting restrictions

However,  “one resident told inspectors that the ongoing restrictions meant they were confined in the nursing home and had not been able to go out to meet their family members". 

“Another resident told the inspectors that they were unhappy about the current arrangements as their family member had not been able to visit them in the designated centre since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and had only seen them through the window.”

Resident surveys examined by inspectors "clearly indicated" that residents were unhappy about the visiting arrangement. "However, this information had not been used to review visiting arrangements and to ensure that residents were able to meet with their families safely." 

Hiqa ordered the centre to bring visiting in line with the national policy. 

Inspectors also found that the quality and safety of care provided to residents living in the designated centre required significant improvement. "In addition, the inspectors found that the social care needs of all residents were not being met, and that residents' rights were not upheld in a number of areas." 

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