05 Jul 2022

HIQA report: Swift action taken at County Limerick nursing home over breach

The latest inspection report by HIQA was published last week

The latest inspection report by HIQA was published last week

A BREACH of the 2007 Health Act which was identified at St Catherine’s Nursing Home in Newcastle West was rectified within 24 hours, the home’s general manager, Jim Canny, has emphasised.

Mr Canny, a former executive at Vistakon and a vice-president of its parent company, Johnson and Johnson, was speaking to the Limerick Leader following the publication last week of the latest inspection report by HIQA.

The breach, he explained, centred around two  beds which were not registered as is required under the 2007 Act. It involved two people who preferred to stay in an independent living apartment rather than in the nursing home proper, he said. “They didn’t want to leave,” he said. “We told HIQA and they approved those two beds there and then.”

The breach, according to Mr Canny, was one of a number of legacy issues which he began working on last year when he took up his role as general manager.  With a new management set-up in place, a root and branch analysis was carried out which identified these legacy issues as “fixable”.

Since then they had worked hard and continue to work hard on those issues, he said. “The latest HIQA report recognised the amount of progress we have made and we were satisfied with it  given the amount we had to do.”

He was particularly pleased that residents rated the quality of care at the home as excellent and were happy with the activities available to them.

Last week’s report was based on an inspection which was carried out in October and  “was undertaken to assess whether the changes that had been implemented were effective in improving regulatory compliance and ensuring the welfare of residents”.

“A number of the non-compliances identified on the previous inspection had been addressed or progress was made towards addressing them,” inspectors said but they highlighted a number of areas where there was non-compliance.  

Some staff members had not been updated on fire training or on handling, the report  said. When this was put to him, Mr Canny said the summer period had made it difficult to train everybody but all staff had now been updated on fire procedures and 99% on handling.

On the issue of training in general, he also pointed out that St Catherine’s had initiated an accredited training programme in Newcastle West which was providing qualification to FETAC Level 5 for staff members and potential staff members and there had been a fantastic  response from the community to this.

The HIQA report highlighted some gaps in CVs and references for some staff, Mr Canny acknowledged,  but since October these had been substantially resolved. An annual staff review, which was a requirement in law, had not taken place, the report also pointed out,  but this had since happened, Mr Canny said. “Everyone has a job description. Everyone knows their responsibility. There is a strong induction programme and on the job training,” he pointed out.

Criticism on decor had also been addressed, Mr Canny said. Since last spring, the outside and inside had been painted, he said.  Up to seven shower-rooms had now been upgraded although a number remained to be refurbished: the day-rooms had been “transformed” and redecorated with new lights, new televisions etc and problems with viewing television raised by some residents had been  resolved.

The HIQA report also highlighted non-compliance on infection control. This had been addressed, Mr Canny said through segregation and by placing locks on sluice rooms. 

Residents who spoke to the inspectors complimented the home baking,  spoke of their privacy being protected and having choice about when they get up in the morning, retire at night and where to eat their meals. 

Residents also said there had been great improvements in the availability of activities since the new activity staff started and particularly enjoyed the music sessions, exercises and Bingo. Some residents said the availability of regular physiotherapy was very important to them.

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