A Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspection has identified serious issues at Kanturk Community Hospital.
The hospital was non-compliant in all 13 areas of inspection, including in fire safety, infection control, residents’ rights, and in staff training and development.
Kanturk Community Hospital provides 24-hour nursing care to both male and female residents, whose dependency ranges from low to maximum care.
Long-term, respite, and palliative care is also provided, mainly to older adults.
The HSE did not ensure that the service was safe, appropriate, consistent and effectively monitored, according to HIQA inspectors.
There was a failure to address fire-safety risks, improve the privacy and dignity of residents, and to involve management in these issues.
HIQA’s follow-up inspection, in November, came after the hospital performed poorly in three inspections since January 2018.
A previous inspection, in August last year, raised concerns about fire safety in the hospital.
On foot of these concerns, the Office of the Chief Inspector referred the centre to the local Fire Authority for review.
The latest inspection found a lack of urgency on the part of the HSE and a failure of senior HSE managers, with responsibility for the centre, to implement the required measures.
Despite three inspections with findings of poor regulatory compliance since January 2018, the HSE had failed to implement their own compliance plan and to make the necessary improvements, according to inspectors.
The hospital had yet to recruit and formally appoint a director of nursing, the senior nursing position in the designated centre; long-term residents continued to be accommodated in situations that adversely impacted their daily quality of life, privacy and dignity; personnel records did not contain garda-vetting disclosures. A statement from Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said it acknowledges the ‘serious issues’ raised by HIQA.
A spokesperson said: “We want residents and their loved-ones to know that we are taking these reports very seriously and are acting to bring about improvements at Kanturk Community Hospital.
“A high-level group of senior managers, from across Cork and Kerry, has been set up to oversee and support the staff at Kanturk Community Hospital, as they continue to bring about the changes and improvements which need to take place.
“This group will also make sure that the efforts we put in have the impact we hope for, while a new Quality and Safety Committee will also be set up for the community hospital.”
The hospital has planned more occupational therapy intervention for the coming weeks and a plan for the extension and refurbishment of the facility has been finalised, with an application for planning permission to be lodged shortly.
Refurbishment works have taken place in advance of the more extensive work.
These works also address the fire safety issues raised by HIQA, according to hospital management.
New televisions have been installed, interactive tablets for residents’ use are on the way, and each resident is getting a new wardrobe.