A number of new inspection reports from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) shed light on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on some nursing home residents in Cork.
HIQA carried out an unannounced inspection at St Finbarr's Hospital on Douglas Road in Cork city centre on July 15 and a short notice inspection at Fairfield Nursing Home in Drimoleague on August 25 and Strawhall Nursing Home in Fermoy on September 2.
The reports, recently published by HIQA, include residents’ discussions with the inspector about the precautions taken at the homes in relation to Covid-19 and the things they missed most during restrictions.
At St Finbarr’s Hospital, the inspector received very positive feedback from a number of residents about the care received on a day-to-day basis.
Residents and relatives spoke positively of staff and indicated that staff were caring, responsive to their needs and treated them with respect and dignity.
However, two residents thought that precautions taken in relation to Covid-19 were too severe with one resident informing the inspector that photographs on display were removed to de-clutter.
"The resident wanted to have her memorabilia and photographs displayed around her bed space and not relegated to a memory book in a locker, she liked to see her family photos when she opened her eyes in the morning and just before she went to sleep," the report said.
Likewise, they requested the return of old-style crockery used for afternoon tea in the day room which had been removed for infection control reasons.
Meanwhile, in Strawhall Nursing Home, bedrooms were seen to be personalised with photographs, books and small items of furniture from home with residents saying the centre felt homely and they enjoyed the company of other residents in the sitting room.
Daily newspapers were available which residents were seen to read during the day and letters and cards sent in from local children and the community during Covid-19 restrictions were on display.
Residents told the inspector that although they were happy with their accommodation and the care received, that they had missed their visitors and were glad visitation had resumed on a supervised basis at the time of inspection.
During the time when visitors were restricted, they were encouraged to maintain communication with family members by video call.
Similarly, residents of Fairfield Nursing Home spoke of their delight that visiting restrictions had been relaxed, however, one resident informed the inspector that even though she was aware visiting had recommenced, she wished to continue to meet with her family through the window.
Another resident said that she loves her room and has it decorated the way she likes. She said that if her family offered to take her home she would say to them that she would like to remain here.
The inspector found feedback from several residents was generally positive with residents being complimentary of the service, staffing and care received, with one resident saying he couldn't wish to be in a better place.