STAFF at St Camillus’ Community Hospital expressed concern to HIQA over cutbacks in dietetic services, a new report has revealed.
Inspectors said the fact that staff were compensating for weight loss by administering nutritional supplements that had not been prescribed represented a risk to elderly residents at the former City Home.
The HSE said it had engaged a private company to provide dietetic services since the unannounced inspection was carried out by HIQA on November 7 last.
Residents who are diabetic, coeliac or have other specialist dietary requirements were catered to by the chefs at St Camillus’, HIQA found.
But the inspection report further records that: “the person in charge stated that the residents used to have access to dietetic services - 14 hours. However, residents had no access or input from the services of a dietician since July 2013.”
The report goes on to note that “in the absence of dietetic services, staff were initiating efforts to address the residents who had experienced a weight loss/gain and who had particular dietary requirements”.
“This management included administering nutritional supplements that were not prescribed. Staff voiced their concern at the lack of availability of dietetic advice. Based on the findings on the day of inspection, the inspector was of the view that current practices posed a risk to residents.”
However, HIQA has been informed by the HSE that an audit of nutritional requirements has since been carried out and that the hospital had “engaged the services of a dietician from an external company”.
The HSE has also pledged to “review” policy on nutritional supplements and laxatives after HIQA found that St Camillus’ was not in full compliance with residential care standards.