Basic infection control measures were not adhered to at a Cork nursing home during a deadly Covid-19 outbreak.
The breaches were discovered after Hiqa inspectors turned up unannounced at St Joseph's Hospital at the Bon Secours Care Village, Mount Desert, Lee Road, Cork on January 28.
This was during an outbreak that had led to the deaths of eight residents during the period January 21 and January 26.
Hiqa also discovered “staff had administered medicines without a prescription”.
“Inspectors found that there were a number of serious issues of concern in relation to medicine management necessitating the issuing of an urgent action plan to the provider,” Hiqa reported.
An urgent action plan was issued to Bon Secours after inspectors for the health watchdog found staff had not ensured an external door of an isolation unit was kept closed.
There was also no signage on the external door to indicate there was even an outbreak in the unit.
Hiqa said staff were also seen leaving the unit still dressed in PPE even though the policy at the centre was for staff to take it off before leaving the unit “while the virus was active”.
In addition, a mobile phone was seen to be used while the user was dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE).
As far as governance and management was concerned, Hiqa noted: “Inspectors found that there were a number of issues identified on this inspection which required urgent management attention to maintain and sustain best practice.
Inspectors also had issues with care plans in place for residents who were either dying or who had Covid-19.
Inspectors reported: “Some care plans were not updated with recent changes in the care needs of the resident, for example, for those residents nearing end of life and care plans for those who had contracted COVID-19.”
But they also noted: “Inspectors found that the daily narrative notes written by nursing staff were very informative.
“This was particularly useful and significant during the outbreak as agency staff or staff from another facility could read all the relevant information, on changes in clinical status and the care required, on one page.”
Bon Secours subsequently informed Hiqa its staff have been retrained in infection control, its Medicine Management Policy had been reviewed and all care plans updated.