Positive reports for residential homes

Two residential homes in County Cavan have received positive reports from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) following recent unannounced inspectors.

A local residential service for adults with a diagnosis of intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorders and acquired brain injuries has been found to be ‘Substantially Compliant’ with regards to arrangements in place for infection prevention and control (IPC).

Hillview Manor in Cavan Town, which is operated by Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company, was the subject of an unannounced inspection by the national health watchdog back in May of this year.

A report based on that visit was published last week.

Hillview provides accommodation for a maximum of seven residents with six bedrooms in the main house and a one-bedroom apartment adjacent to the main house.

The centre caters for adult residents who may also have mental health difficulties and behaviours that challenge.

During the course of the visit, the inspector walked around the centre, met with residents and staff and had an opportunity to observe the everyday lives of the residents.

“On arrival it was immediately evident that the provider had put in place systems in accordance with public health guidelines, and that these were being implemented,” noted the inspector in their report.

“Appropriate facilities were available on entrance, including hand sanitising items. Current public health guidelines in relation to visitors were being implemented, so that there were no restrictions on visits, other than visitors being asked if they had any symptoms of an infectious disease,” continued the report.

Some residents had contracted an infectious disease during the recent pandemic, and following the lifting of community restrictions, residents had returned to their previous chosen activities.

“Overall, the inspector found that multiple strategies were in place to safeguard residents from the risks associated with of an outbreak of infection,” concluded the report.

The inspector conducted a “walk around” of the centre, which it found to be “visibly clean, and well maintained for the most part”.

There were however “some outstanding items of maintenance” to be addressed, and these “meant that cleanliness and the highest level of hygiene could not be [ensured]”.

For example, this included damaged flooring in two areas of the house.

However, it was noted that arrangements had been made to rectify these issues, with a commitment to fix and replace the “raised gaps” in the flooring by the end of August.

The inspection report is the second such assessment of a local care facility published this month.

Oak View Nursing Home, run by Omega Nursing Home Limited, in Belturbet was found to ‘Substantially Compliant’ on six and fully “Compliant” on the remaining 10 of 16 categories assessed during an unannounced visit by HIQA officials in April.

The designated centre provides 24-hour nursing care and support to 61 residents both long-term (continuing and dementia care) and short-term (assessment, rehabilitation convalescence and respite care) residents.

The inspection was carried out to assess compliance with the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013.

Overall, the inspector found feedback from residents regarding the service they received and their quality of life in Oak View Private Nursing Home “positive”.

There are two directors on the provider company board and both were found to be “very involved” in the centre’s day-to-day operation.

Monitoring and oversight systems were in place in the centre with “evidence of continuous quality improvement”.

However, although activity co-ordination staff, who worked Monday to Friday, prepared a schedule of social activities for residents during the weekends, staff resources were not increased to cover this additional work. As a result, the inspector was “not assured” there was adequate staff available to carry out the planned schedule, and listed Oak View as being ‘Substantially Compliant’ in this regard.

Similarly, the same inspector found insufficient storage facilities for residents’ assistive equipment resulting in hoists being inappropriately stored at the top of a stairs designated as a fire exit from Willow unit and in an alcove along a corridor to a fire exit on Elm unit.

Oak View was also deemed ‘Substantially Compliant’ in keeping records of residents’ food intake as per their treatment plans, and in the provision of a single television in twin bedrooms.

Responding, Oak View has since provided an “opt-out of additional charges” to all current contracts and new contracts; while all assistive equipment has been moved to a new storage area “that does not intrude into the residents’ living communal space”.

A food record will now be utilised to record “accurately” the food intake of all residents who have unintentional weight loss daily, and an extra TV will be put into the centre’s four twin rooms with a facility for residents to listen to the device individually.