herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Woman in nursing home bedbound for almost four months

Hiqa raised concerns over Talbot Lodge nursing home
Hiqa raised concerns over Talbot Lodge nursing home

A patient in a Dublin nursing home was bedbound for almost four months, health watchdog inspectors have found.

When officials from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) visited Talbot Lodge Nursing Home in Malahide they uncovered a number of failings. They raised concerns over the hygiene care provided to residents and a failure to report an assault by one resident on another that caused "serious injury".

The inspectors reported "unacceptable" institutional practices and "a breach of human rights of people with dementia".

Approached by the Herald last night, one of the directors of the firm that owns the nursing home refused to comment on the matter.

"I've no intention of talking to you, someone will be in touch," said Tony Woods.

The HIQA inspectors raised a series of concerns over care at the Kinsealy Lane home following their inspection in July.

"One resident had been bedbound for almost four months because she appeared uncomfortable in her chair. She had not been referred for a seating assessment," the report states.

In response the nursing home told HIQA that "on occasions for palliative care and comfort reasons, following nursing assessment, residents can be nursed in bed for extended periods.

"A multidisciplinary team review of residents currently nursed in bed will take place and referrals as considered appropriate will be made," the nursing home said.

In one unit in the nursing home some residents "were awoken for their daily medications at 6am - and five residents who had dementia were given their breakfast at 6am... these residents were also given their evening meal at 3.45pm".

"These institutional practices were unacceptable and a breach of human rights of people with dementia," inspectors reported.

The nursing home said in the reply recorded in the report that some residents had requested an early breakfast and that this was duly facilitated.

Inspectors were also concerned that the basic hygiene needs of residents were not being met.

Only three out of 84 residents had had a shower twice in the previous week. More than 30 residents who had a daily wash did not have a weekly shower, according to records.

The nursing home insisted in its HIQA report reply that all personal hygiene needs were tended to daily or more often if required, but that on review some staff were found to have been using inappropriate abbreviations on charts that simply documented "wash", which "does not accurately reflect the care provided in many cases".

Meanwhile, in another worrying incident a physical assault of one resident on another that resulted in "serious injury" was "not investigated in line with the policy or notified to the Authority as an allegation of abuse", the inspectors reported.

In response the nursing home confirmed that the injury had been reported to HIQA and said the incident was "internally reviewed in line with our policy".

The incident was then "reclassified" the nursing home said and an investigation report was submitted to HIQA.

Another incident observed included two residents who were found to be sitting upright for six hours when they needed to be moved every two to three hours.

"The lack of staff to deliver and to supervise the delivery of care resulted in institutional practices and poor outcomes for residents," inspectors wrote.

"There was inadequate supervision of residents who posed a risk to their own safety or the safety of others."

Cared

The report stated that a number of residents confirmed that they felt "cared for and looked after".

"Staff were observed to be gentle and communicated well with residents," the report said.

Talbot Lodge told HIQA that it has implemented a range of measures to address all of the concerns in the report.

Care plans will be revised for each resident in consultation with their family, and they will be reviewed more regularly.

Measures have also been taken to add more staff and increase temporary staff levels.

"The action plan published along with the report details the changes to be made and over half of those are now complete, with the vast majority due to be completed within six weeks," a spokesman said.

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