THREE private nursing homes in County Tipperary have been closed by the Health Information and Quaity Authority (Hiqa) in the past two years, it has been revealed.
The three - At Anne’s Nursing Home, Cashel; Woodside Nursing Home, Killusty, Fethard, and Suirmount in Carrick-on-Suir, had catered for 67 residents in total. They were among 11 that have closed following Hiqa inspections since 2010.
St Anne’s, which catered for 17 residents, closed this May; Suirmont, with 30 residents, closed in March, while Woodside, which had 20 residents, closed in August 2011.
Details and analysis of the Hiqa visits have been released by The Wolfe Group, who say it is likely that even more will close this year. According to the Wolfe report, the number of regulation breaches found in the 11 closed homes was considerable. Each of the 11 centres received, on average, five inspections before facing closure, and despite being given agreed action plans and considerable time to improve standards, an average of 17 months from first inspection, these 11 centres did not adequately improve.
In the case of St Anne’s, the Hiqa inspectors found residents living in cold rooms and cared for by inadequate numbers of staff.
In the case of Woodside, which had been inspected on four occasions, inspectors had found problems with fire safety, medication management, and risk assessment, among other areas. However the last report found that, while there had been marginal improvements, these were unsatisfactory and there was continuing poor practice.
But the inspectors noted that residents spoke well of the staff, whose care was kind but basic.
With regard to Suimount, the inspectors found problems with residents suffering from significant weight loss, failure to maintain proper accident records and difficulties with best practice.
There were also unsubstantiated reports of staff sleeping while on night duty, residents being manually handled without proper care and inappropriate language and terminology being used while caring for a resident.
However, it noted that a survey carried out among the residents was generally positive.
Joe Wolfe, founding partner of The Wolfe Group (formerly known as Joe Wolfe & Associates), said: Despite our analysis finding some shocking reports, in our view and from our analysis of regulators of health and social care internationally, HIQA is one of the best regulators worldwide and are rigorous in inspecting services. The fact that HIQA’s inspection reports are publically available makes the process very transparent and people can now access these reports when deciding on which residential home to place loved ones. Good services are now being recognised and nursing homes that continue to breach regulations will be closed. Inspections are ongoing and it is highly likely that there will be more closures before the end of this year.”