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Ennis Road Care Facility in Meelick. Photograph by John Kelly

HIQA report on Clare facility details ‘significant improvement’


COMPLIANCE with national standards significantly improved in a Meelick nursing home in recent months, according to the latest inspection conducted by an independent health watchdog, writes Dan Danaher.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) found Ennis Road Care Facility (ERCF) was non-compliant with four standards, records, governance and management, fire precautions as well as training and staff development following an inspection on February 25.

This an unannounced risk-based inspection to follow up on previous inspection findings in 2020, all of which had identified issues with the governance and management of the service.
This had resulted in the HIQA Chief Inspector reducing the number of beds registered from 84 to 45 to allow for governance and management structure to strengthen and to demonstrate sustainable governance.

Eight breaches of national health regulations were detected following a previous unannounced inspection last September.

However, when HIQA inspectors conducted an unannounced visit to examine the standards of care being provided to 44 residents on August 11 last, they didn’t find any major breaches.

The centre was found to comply with national standards concerning staffing, training and staff development, records, complaints’ procedure, risk management, infection control, individual assessment and care plan and health care.

It was substantially compliant with standards relating to governance and management, fire precautions and managing challenging behaviour.

Inspectors found the governance and management structures had been strengthened and stabilised. In addition, the provider has increased the monitoring and auditing of the service, which lead to improved oversight of the service provided to the residents.

The registered provider had submitted an application to vary condition three of their current registration to allow for an increase in residents numbers to go from 45 to 66 and this was being reviewed.

Residents who were spoken with expressed high levels of satisfaction with all aspects of the care received in this centre. The feedback from the residents was that this was a good place to live in a supported care environment, where patients could maintain their independence but still have company and security.

At one point inspectors observed residents partaking in art work while others where having their nails painted. In a separate room there were residents partaking in a sing song as they enjoyed mid morning drinks.

In the afternoon, a small group of residents were icing buns that had been baked earlier and where then served to residents as a choice of snack in the afternoon.

Overall, residents were receiving a good standard of care that was based on their assessed need and in line with their documented preferred wishes.

Staff were knowledgeable on the individual care needs of the residents under their care.

Inspectors reviewed resident files. In the main, care plans were found to be individualised and person-centered.

On the day of inspection, the staffing levels and skill-mix were sufficient to meet the assessed needs of the residents.

To ensure the centre was operating in line with the regulations and standards, the provider had a number of oversight arrangements.

The management team were working together to oversee residents care and undertook reviews of the care and support being provided.

There were also audit practices in place to ensure all areas of the designated centre were operating effectively.

The provider met regularly with each department, and meeting minutes showed that where risks or changes were identified a plan to address them was put in place.

This included the arrangements in place for managing any infection outbreak and staffing issues.

In its response to the audit, the centre outlined annual review and outbreak review reports were completed, reports were completed and forwarded to the Authority on 23 August 2021 together with evidence demonstrating fire drills of the largest compartment were being undertaken.

The reports placed particular focus on stabilising and strengthening the management systems amid increased regulatory activity.

The provider has introduced a new and comprehensive template to record fire drills practiced in the centre. Fire drills now encompass practicing evacuation of the largest fire compartment, evidence of which has been sent to the authority on August 23, 2021.

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