HSE ‘failed to take necessary urgent action’ to address fire safety issues at nursing home – watchdog report


HSE ‘failed to take necessary urgent action’ to address fire safety issues at nursing home – watchdog report

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The HSE failed to take the necessary urgent action to address fire safety issues at a Co Cork nursing home, a report by the health watchdog has found.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspectors who conducted an unannounced inspection on 1 November 2018 said they were “not assured” that adequate arrangements were in place to ensure all residents at the Kanturk Community Hospital could be safely evacuated in the event of a fire.

The inspectors said that there had been improvements in fire safety since the previous inspection, but warned that the HSE had still not made “adequate arrangements for the maintenance of means of escape.”

In another finding, they said that “overall the premises was not fit for purpose for the number of residents living there.”

The centre said that remedial work which commenced last November included wider bedroom doors to facilitate evacuation in the event of a fire, and an interior designer was engaged to review the décor “to promote resident comfort”.

The findings came as HIQA published 56 nursing home reports yesterday from all around the country run by the HSE and a range of other providers.

While the watchdog and inspectors found evidence of good practice and compliance with regulations and standards at 32 centres and the residents’ needs were being met, there was evidence of non compliance in 24 of the units.

Inspectors identified non compliance in area such as governance and management, training and staff development, records, statement of purpose, notification of incidents, personal possessions, infection control, premises; risk management, fire precautions; individual assessment and care plans and residents’ rights.

An inspection report for Our Lady of Consolation Nursing Home in Tullamore, Co Offaly, found residents were unable to have a shower for four weeks because there was no hot water.

An unannounced inspection was carried out at the home on October 23 last year.

The inspector noted that “action was required as a matter of urgency” to ensure residents have access to a safe hot water supply.


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“Due to unforeseen circumstances, there was no hot water available in the centre for the last four weeks,” said a report on the matter.

“The inspector was satisfied that efforts had been taken to rectify the problem. Nevertheless, although facilitated to have washes by using boiled water, no resident had been able to have a shower in that period of time.”

Some residents said they missed being able to have a shower, but they were “grateful to staff for the extra effort made to bring them hot water for washing”.

“One congratulated staff on making sure she had her hair washed as this was important to her,” said the report.

In all the nursing homes inspected, a compliance plan was in place to ensure that any issues raised were addressed.

To see a copy of all the newly published reports:  see: www.hiqa.ie

Online Editors


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