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Spoon required to open door at Galway nursing home


A Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report says a spoon had to be used to open a fire exit door at nursing home in Co Galway during an unannounced inspection last summer.

The report is one of 50 published by HIQA this morning.

Inspectors found there were issues relating to fire precautions at the privately run home which has registered accommodation for 45 residents.

During the inspection which took place last August, HIQA discovered that the kitchen fire exit was locked.

When the inspector asked that the door be unlocked, a staff member opened it with a spoon.

HIQA also found that fire exits from two enclosed gardens were padlocked and the key was kept in a “break glass” unit.

The report noted that staff did not carry a copy of the key at the time of the inspection, however, since then Day and Night staff have been issued with a copy.

The inspector said a review of fire precautions was required throughout.

“All fire exits should be readily openable without the use of keys to ensure instant egress from a building in the event of a fire emergency,” according to the report.

The provider has since informed HIQA that the fire exit door handle in the kitchen has been fixed.

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

However, 16 centres were found to be non-compliant with three regulations or less, while eight centres were non-compliant with four or more regulations.

At a privately run home in Co Wexford, inspectors found that some staff practices in the centre during the night were “task-oriented rather than person-centred”.

Residents’ choice of when they went to bed was not supported.

For example, a resident reported being put into bed at 8pm, when they would like to have stayed up.

Nine residents out of total of 81 were in the communal day areas when inspectors arrived in the centre at 8pm.

A resident told the inspectors that there was a night time practice in which their incontinence wear was changed at a specific time. This resident said that they had communicated with staff not to have their incontinence wear changed at these specific times so as they could have a restful sleep.

Residents’ had held meetings and filled in satisfaction surveys, records of which were observed by the inspectors.

The results highlighted a dissatisfaction relating to the overall care provided, communication, services and recreation. Inspectors received a lot of negative feedback on the quality of the food in the centre.

In response, the provider said that while there is daily feedback in relation to the food being served, it said it would would develop “a more formal feedback form each day”.

At a home run by the HSE in Co Waterford, HIQA found that the centre’s safeguarding policy and procedure had not been followed in practice.

While incidents of “unexplained bruising” sustained by residents were followed up “in detail from a medical and nursing perspective”, the inspector found that no action was taken to rule out a safeguarding concern.

This was despite the centre’s policy stating that these kinds of incidences should be investigated.

“The system of auditing of incidents had not captured the risk, and therefore had not triggered a review of the incidents”, according to the report.

Records showed that 17% of the staffing complement did not have up-to-date training in safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

Staff who spoke to HIQA also did not identify the presence of unexplained bruising as a potential safeguarding concern.

In response to HIQA’s findings, the HSE said a review of “the safeguarding incident in question” had been completed and that its Regional Safeguarding Team was conducting an audit to identify other incidents that may warrant further investigation.


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