THREE Cork nursing homes were found to be non-compliant with regulations around infection control during recent inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).
The watchdog published 48 inspection reports on residential centres for older people around the country in recent days, including 10 reports on centres in Cork, following inspections between January and April.
Levels of non-compliance varied, with nine centres nationally found to be non-compliant with one regulation, seven centres non-compliant with two regulations, four centres non-compliant with three regulations, and 12 centres non-compliant with four or more regulations.
Non-compliance was identified in areas including governance and management, residents’ rights, premises, visits, infection control, healthcare, fire precautions, medicines and pharmaceutical services, risk management, individual assessment and care plan, staffing, training and staff development, complaints procedure, and managing behaviour that is challenging.
In Cork, five residential centres for older people were found to be non-compliant with regulations in one or more areas.
An unannounced inspection of Teach Altra Nursing Home in Newmarket examined the centre’s compliance with 21 regulations.
The inspection was the fourth such inspection in a year and was organised to follow up on the non-compliance findings identified in February, June, and November last year.
Overall, the inspector found that the person in charge and staff were working to improve the quality of life and promote the rights and choices of residents in the centre.
The report says that residents gave positive feedback and were complimentary about staff and the care provided in the centre.
It also says improvement was noted in some areas of service provision and acknowledges the appointment of a new person in charge.
The inspection found that the facility was compliant or substantially compliant with 19 of the regulations assessed. However, it was non-complaint with regulations in two areas — infection control and staffing.
The report says that issues relating to infection prevention and control continue to be a finding. It notes a number of concerns including that there was no schedule of deep cleaning, high dusting, and curtain rotation, which was required, and that there were no hand-washing hubs designated for staff so their only access to hand-washing facilities was within residents’ en suites or bathrooms.
The report says there were inadequate staff levels for the size and layout of the centre, dependency levels, and the number of residents requiring two staff to provide care and transfer.
An inspection of Norwood Grange in Waterfall found that the facility was compliant or substantially compliant with 17 out of 18 of the regulations assessed, but it was non-compliant when it came to infection control.
The inspection report says it was evident that residents were supported to have a good quality of life in the centre and notes that residents told the inspector the “staff were great, very caring, and respected their choices”.
Overall, the report says the inspector saw that the centre was clean and findings from the previous inspection concerning infection control had been addressed.
However, the inspector found that some improvements were required in relation to cleaning processes and other areas of practice that may increase the risk of cross-infection in the centre.
Amongst the issues identified, the report says that not all staff were bare below the elbow to ensure hands could be effectively cleaned.
An inspection of Blair’s Hill Nursing Home in Sunday’s Well found that the centre was non-compliant in infection control regulations and that staff did not consistently adhere to standard infection control precautions.
The report notes that staff were not bare below the elbow as recommended in hand hygiene guidelines.
Amongst the other issues noted, the report says that staff did not routinely wear respirator masks for all resident care activity as recommended in guidelines and that a staff member wore the same plastic apron for several hours on the morning of the inspection.
It also states that the environment was not managed in a way that minimised the risk of transmitting a healthcare-associated infection.
The report states that the inspector was assured that residents living in the centre enjoyed a good quality of life. Four residents in the centre, who spoke to the inspector, “were very complimentary in their feedback and expressed satisfaction about the standard of care provided”.
An inspection of Clonakilty Community Hospital found that the facility was compliant or substantially compliant with 17 regulations assessed. However, it was non-compliant in the area of training and staff development.
The report says that training records reviewed on the day of the inspection did not provide evidence that all staff had received mandatory training. Some 10% of staff were due training in safeguarding vulnerable adults and 90% of staff were due training in responsive behaviours.
The report says that overall residents described being content and happy living in the centre and they acknowledged that there had been numerous improvements in the centre over the last few years.
An inspection at Youghal Community Hospital found the centre was compliant or substantially compliant with regulations in 19 areas, but it was non-compliant in two areas — fire precautions and premises.
The report says that at the time of inspection the registered provider had not taken adequate precautions to ensure that residents were protected from the risk of fire, with a number of issues identified regarding poor fire safety management including gaps in the surrounds of fire-safe doors.
An urgent action plan was issued to the provider requiring that the issues identified be addressed within a short timeframe due to the serious nature of the findings.
Additionally, the inspector saw that a number of serious findings, which had been highlighted in an external report on fire safety in the centre that had been received in 2021, had not been addressed.
In terms of the premises, the report says that the inspector found a number of issues that needed to be addressed since the previous inspection to bring the premises into compliance with the regulations, including the replacement of flooring in a number of areas.
The report says the overall feedback from residents and relatives was that Youghal Community Hospital was a comfortable place to live, where residents were known to staff and felt safe in their care. Residents felt that their rights and choices were respected and said that staff were kind and caring and available to listen to any concerns they might have.
Of the 48 reports published nationally, inspectors found evidence of good practice and compliance with the regulations and standards on a number of inspections.
Hiqa found that 16 centres were either fully compliant or substantially compliant with the national standards and regulations.
This included five centres in Cork: Macroom Community Hospital, Unit 1 St Stephen’s Hospital in Glanmire, Bandon Community Hospital, Bridhaven Nursing Home in Mallow, and Strawhall Nursing Home in Fermoy.
Hiqa’s full reports are available on www.hiqa.ie.