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Safeguarding issues found at some nursing homes

Several safeguarding issues at nursing homes were discovered by the Health Information and Quality Authority in recent inspections.

Among the 50 nursing home inspection reports published by HIQA, inspectors found that at a nursing home in Co Laois, three potential safeguarding incidents had not been “recognised or investigated”.

A resident sustained an injury during the delivery of personal care, however an investigation by senior management at the home did not take account there being only one member of staff present at the time, despite the residents’ care plan noting there should be two members of staff present.

A separate investigation into unexplained bruising on a resident was investigated under the complaints policy rather than safeguarding policy and detailed statements were not taken from all staff involved in the resident’s care to support the assertion that the injury was related to the use of manual handling equipment.

At a home in Sligo, a “significant complaint” was received about the care provided to a resident who had recently been discharged from the centre.

A potential allegation of abuse had not been followed up in line with the centre’s own safeguarding policy and procedure.

According to HIQA, there was no evidence at the time of the inspection that an investigation had been commenced in line with the procedures in place to protect residents.

At a nursing home in Co Kildare, inspectors were not assured that residents always had access to a supply of fresh drinking water.

During their initial walkaround, inspectors noticed jugs of water in the bedrooms, which were mostly out of reach of the residents and no glasses. This was observed again in the middle of the day.

Access to fresh water was an issue noted by inspectors at one nursing home (Stock image)

The report also says inspectors were also not assured that food was properly cooked and served.

They observed food on breakfast trays beside sleeping residents which was left to go cold. Other foods like eggs were served “inappropriately”, according to the report.

One resident had asked staff to locate their dentures but when staff did not return, the food went cold.

At another home in Co Mayo, the doors to the internal courtyard were locked, which meant that residents did not have ease of access to the outside area.

In the same home, some residents could not easily access their wardrobes because their beds were obstructing the wardrobe doors.

It was the third inspection since 2021 where it was evident that each resident could access not their belongings easily and as they wished.

The provider said additional wardrobe space had been requested and resident bedrooms were being reconfigured to ensure “ease of access” to wardrobes in rooms where it was identified as an issue.

Of the 50 reports published this morning, inspectors found evidence of good practice and compliance with the regulations and standards in several inspections.

Eight thematic inspection reports focusing on the use of restrictive practices were found to be compliant or substantially compliant with the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland.

A further 12 centres were either fully compliant or substantially compliant with the regulations.

In general, the centres were found to be meeting residents’ needs and delivering care in line with the national standards and regulations according to HIQA.

Of the remaining centres, 20 were non-compliant with three regulations or less, and 10 centres non-compliant with four or more regulations.

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