155,154 registered members
Home 'failed to act' on abuse reports
[Posted: Mon 11/01/2010 www.irishhealth.com]
A Co. Meath HSE nursing home failed to properly investigate allegations of elder abuse of residents by a nurse, according to an inspection report published by the health safety watchdog HIQA.
The nurse employed at the home in Trim remained on duty after a number of abuse allegations had been made, the report revealed.
The support group Age Action has expressed serious concern at the findings of the HIQA report.
The report identified serious shortcomings in the way the allegations about St Joseph's Community Nursing Unit were dealt with.
The HSE says it is taking action in response to the HIQA findings.
A week before a scheduled inspection of the home last September, HIQA was notified of three allegations of abuse of residents.
The report says the person in charge of the home did not investigate the allegations in a timely manner in accordance with HSE policy.No immediate protection measures for residents were introduced, the report states.
HIQA says that a subsequent action plan prepared by the home to protect against abuse abuse was unsatisfactory, as the nurse at the centre of the abuse allegations remained on duty.
The reprot noted that the nurse concrned was not put on administrative leave on November 5 last, following two further incidents of alleged abuse, which HIQA says it was not notified about.
HIQA has made a complaint to the nurse regulatory body, An Bord Altranais, about the fitness to practise of the nurse.
In its written response to the inspection, management at the home said the concerns raised in relation to the supervision of the staff member and informing residents during the investigation have been rectified.
A new policy adopted in mid-November now ensures all complaints are recorded and addressed.
The HIQA inspectors found that there was poor leadership and management in the nursing home and the management of general complaints was unsatisfactory.
There was a lack of management supervision at night and an over-reliance on agency staff, the inspectors said.
The HSE said management was addressing three alleged incidents of elder abuse by one staff member prior to HIQA Inspection and had reported these to the Chief Inspector one week prior to the visit.
"In relation to the incidents of alleged abuse, the HSE acknowledges the findings in the report. Currently, a staff member is on leave pending investigation. Management wishes to provide assurance that any allegations which may arise in the future, will be managed in a thorough and robust manner and in accordance with HSE policies and legislative requirements."
The HSE said many positive findings and evidence of good practice were contained in the report on St Joseph's.
"In particular, all residents and relatives interviewed by the Inspectors, expressed positive views on all aspects of the service and complimented the kindness and commitment of the staff."
Age Action has expressed serious concern at the findings of a HIQA inspection into St. Joseph’s .
“Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable people in our community and they depend on all allegations of elder abuse being promptly and correctly investigated,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said.
“The HIQA report is a cause of serious concern and undermines so much good work being done by staff at the unit and in other nursing home centres around Ireland.”
Age Action appointed a part-time advocacy officer to St. Joseph’s Community Nursing Unit in November. The alleged abuse occurred prior to that appointment. Age Action said it was was unaware of the allegations prior to today.
“We hope that this independent advocacy service, involving volunteer advocates working with the residents at St. Joseph’s, will help prevent further incidents like this occurring,” Mr Timmins said.
Read the full report here
|To join the discussion, register by clicking here|