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Tag Archives: HIQA

Covid outbreaks in a quarter of Clare nursing homes

OUTBREAKS of Covid-19 have been confirmed in a quarter of nursing homes in Clare, The Champion has learned. News of clusters in four out of the county’s 16 homes has prompted renewed calls for greater medical supervision of these facilities. There were a total of 13 nursing home clusters in the Midwest area covering Limerick, Clare and North Tippeary, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) up to May 24. Data released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) now indicate that Clare accounts for just under one-third of these. Reacting to the figures, Deputy Michael McNamara, who is Chair of the Covid-19 Dáil Committee, has called on the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to provide it with details of the homes it identified, at the outset of the pandemic, as being at particular risk. At Tuesday’s committee hearing, Mary Dunnion of HIQA said a list had been sent to the HSE in February or March. “These, …

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Dr Harty believes nursing home visiting restrictions must remain for now

CLARE GP and former Dáil deputy, Dr Michael Harty has said the while the ongoing ban on visitors to nursing homes was “a dilemma”, the time was not yet right to lift restrictions. The Kilmihil-based GP said that, despite a call from the nursing homes regulator to look at allowing visits, the overriding concern had to be keeping Covid-19 out. Earlier this week, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) called on health officials to examine ways of easing restrictions, over concern for the welfare of residents. “For elderly people, isolation from family and visitors is very restrictive,” Dr Harty said. “But, we must balance the dilemma that poses with keeping the virus out. Given the devastating impact that Coronavirus can have, the balance probably comes down in favour of the restrictions.” Noting that some nursing homes were facilitating families to see residents at their bedroom windows, or by video call, Dr Harty said that these were the preferred option …

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Stringent demands on county’s nursing homes

NURSING home operators in Clare have spoken of their fears after a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 clusters in such settings nationally. Some have revealed that they have had to introduce infection control procedures and cover the rising cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) themselves, while waiting for the recently-announced government supports to come on stream. Figures published on Wednesday by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) showed a total of 86 clusters at nursing homes across the country. The data, which was collected up to midnight on Sunday, shows three of these are in the Midwest and ten in the West, with the majority in the East of the country. “Clearly, nursing homes look after very immunocompromised people,” said Dr Billy O’Connell of Miltown Malbay. “An outbreak of Covid-19 could have terrible consequences.” While he welcomed the new Department of Health fund for PPE, training, advice and staff-testing, as well as the support of Health Information and …

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“Affront to dignity” HIQA criticism of St Joseph’s

DESPITE some positive feedback from residents about the care they receive, HIQA inspectors found that significant problems exist at St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis. One of the criticisms made in a report published on Wednesday was that there is a “failure to ensure that residents’ privacy and dignity was upheld at all times during the provision of care”. The inspection report found that staff cannot deliver care in the way required because of the state of the facilities. “The curtain layout in some bedrooms was such that it was not possible for staff to deliver care in a dignified way. For example, screen curtains do not always meet and so the resident receiving the care is at high risk of being inappropriately exposed. Inspectors observed a resident receiving personal care in an undignified way. “Another example of an affront to dignity was observed for a number of residents as a result of staff not managing and responding to a resident’s …

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New Site For St Joseph’s Hospital

A SITE has been secured for the construction of a new €25 million St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis. The construction of the 100-bed, community nursing unit on five acres of Diocesan lands located near the Turnpike in Ennis will ensure that elderly care services remain at the heart of the county town, according to Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen. Deputy Breen said, “I am delighted that a site has been secured at this central location in Ennis for the construction of the new €25 million St Joseph’s Hospital. The sale of the 5.09 acres of land remains subject to planning permission for the development of the 100 bed Community Nursing Unit, but I believe the site provides the best option following the appraisal of a number of sites in the Ennis environs by the HSE. “The new state-of-the-art St Joseph’s Hospital building has been prioritised in the HSE Capital …

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Safeguarding adults in health care

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are today (Wednesday) hosting a seminar in the Law Society of Ireland on the safeguarding of adults in health and social care services. The seminar, Adult Safeguarding: Promoting Rights, Health and Wellbeing, aims to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable, and provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss how Ireland can better promote the rights, health and wellbeing of people at risk of abuse or harm. Addressing over 200 delegates, HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn announced that HIQA and the MHC are developing joint national adult safeguarding standards. “These standards aim to minimise and prevent the abuse and neglect of at-risk adults. This must surely be our aim, every bit as much as reporting and investigating abuse when it takes place”. Mr Quinn added, “These standards are just one part of the solution, however. The State must acknowledge its responsibility to protect …

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HIQA finds compliance issues at Kilrush hospital

A HIQA report on Kilrush District Hospital has found one instance of a major non-compliance and nine minor non-compliance issues. The announced inspections took place on July 31 and August 1, while 35 residents were in the building. The major non compliant issue was in relation to the St Flannan’s three-bed room. “Two of the beds were located in close proximity to one another. The inspector observed that a resident sitting in her wheelchair beside her bed was moved to the day room to allow a visitor sit beside the resident in the adjacent bed,” the report said. “The privacy and dignity of residents was further compromised due to the clear glass panels which were located on both entrance doors to the ward. St Flannan’s three-bedded room did not meet the needs of residents and was unsuitable in design and layout. It accommodated three female residents at the time of inspection. There was inadequate space to store clothes and other …

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HSE challenging St Joseph’s admissions ban

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed it will challenge efforts by the independent health watchdog HIQA to impose restrictions on new admissions to St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital in Ennis. HIQA is on a collision course with the HSE over regulatory issues at the hospital, which provides vital public step-down facilities to elderly people. The Clare Champion has learned that admissions will continue at St Joseph’s, pending the outcome of a court appeal being prepared by the HSE. A SIPTU spokesman told The Clare Champion that its members have been providing the best quality care to patients in St Joseph’s. The spokesman explained the regulatory issues do not cover patient care but moreso difficulties in relation to the physical infrastructure, which HIQA have been highlighting for some time. Over the last three years, he said there have been plans to carry out remedial works at St Joseph’s, as well as an overall plan to construct a new facility on the …

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