• Irish Bulletin

Numerous Complaints over Cork Nursing Homes before and during COVID-19 Lockdown

Updated: Sep 9

Friday 28 August


The Cork Echo has reported numerous allegations of poor treatment of elderly Cork nursing home residents, including allegations of abuse, neglect and poor care as well as fears over staff shortages, these include the past five months of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Baseline staffing levels did not increase, even in centres where there was significant COVID-19 outbreaks.




There are 47 private and voluntary nursing homes and 19 HSE operated nursing homes in Cork, providing care to over 3,000 residents.


'Concerns' can be presented to the HIQA Authority through its complaints procedure. So, between, January 2019 and June 2020, more than 120 concerns were raised with HIQA regarding issues with Cork nursing homes. Almost 20 ‘concerns’ raised with HIQA in the past five months centred around the Covid-19 pandemic and how Cork nursing homes were dealing with the pandemic:

* One person claimed a Cork nursing home resident had died and the family was not informed. Meanwhile, almost 20 ‘concerns’ raised with HIQA from March to August, centred around the Covid-19 pandemic.


* Staff at a Cork nursing home were not wearing masks. Residents of Cork nursing homes were allowed out of the centre and were at risk of bringing the virus back to the home.

* Upon arriving at hospital, a resident of a Cork nursing home was found to have a severe infection and was suffering from dehydration.


* Failure to provide care in a timely manner contributed to the death of a resident in 2018.


* “Residents’ health and social care needs are not being met.


* A nursing home resident went three days without medical attention after suffering a fall, with delays in treatment of pressure sores.

* After a resident suffered a fall, no doctor was called until the resident’s family insisted. It was then discovered the resident had suffered a fracture.

* Poor standard of care at a Cork nursing home led to a resident’s infection going untreated for months.


* Cork nursing homes have staff shortages with some claims that staff are unqualified.


* Staff shortages were impacting the care, safety and wellbeing of residents at some Cork nursing homes.

* “Staff are not trained in care of dementia residents,” said one person, who added there is a lack of empathy for residents who are subjected to “chemical restraints and bed rail restraints used on a daily basis”.


* Residents had suffered abuse, rough treatment or neglect at the hands of staff in Cork nursing homes.


* One person claimed that a resident was slapped in the face by a carer, while another stated that staff were verbally abusive towards residents.

* Other complaints concerned the hygiene of residents (ignored) others claimed centres themselves were unclean and unhygienic, alleged falls., with neglect and no staff supervision was contributing to the number of accidents.

* One claim mentioned that the quantities of food provided are insufficient.

Separately, the HIQA reported in July that half of all Irish nursing homes were found non-complaint with COVID-19 infection prevention and control protocols according to HIQA inspections carried out since May 2020:


* These contributed to more severe outbreaks than may otherwise have been the case.”

* Also, baseline staffing levels had not increased, even in centres where there was significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

* Also, in some centres where additional staff had been provided to ease staffing pressures, these have been removed as soon as convenient


Sources:


More than 120 concerns raised over Cork nursing homes - https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/More-than-120-concerns-raised-over-Cork-nursing-homes-5d1eab9f-a7ec-4adb-ac7e-8ebf723b3a88-ds


Half of nursing homes not following infection protocols says HIQA - https://www.echolive.ie/nationalnews/Half-of-nursing-homes-not-following-infection-protocols-says-HIQA-e595c6e7-5971-4363-ae8b-311bc46e68f2-ds

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