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Care home staff were not trained to deal with resident who kept punching themselves

One resident was left playing with blocks on the floor for most of the day, only getting a break to go to the toilet and eat.

Image: wheelchair image via Shutterstock

A DAMNING INSPECTION report on a care home for the disabled has found a number of major issues including a lack of training and measures to keep patients safe.

The report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), published today, found staff at St John of God Community Services centre in Louth did not have the knowledge or skills to deal with residents who harmed themselves or attempted to harm others.

This centre accommodates nine residents and all of them have an intellectual disability with high to maximum dependency. A number of them are also in wheelchairs.

In the report, Hiqa said inspectors witnessed a resident intermittently hitting themselves on the left side of the face with their fist. Staff failed to intervene. There was also no action taken when a resident tried to “endanger other residents” by wheeling closely to their toes and feet in their wheelchair, while these residents were not wearing shoes or socks.

Another finding of ‘major’ non-compliance was in relation to the general welfare and development of residents.

Inspectors observed that there were no opportunities for residents to participate in activities in accordance with their interests, capacities and developmental needs.

One person was left sitting on the floor with building blocks for most of the seven hour inspection with no break from this activity other than having lunch and going to the bathroom.

A different resident had a table placed in front of their wheelchair for the whole day. It was used to serve their lunch but other than that, staff “did not use the tabletop to engage the resident in any activities and it was not removed at any time”.

One recently recruited member of staff told inspectors they had not been trained in fire safety prevention and staff did not adopt procedures for the prevention and control of infections.

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The report also said:

There were periods throughout the inspection when the communal areas and in particular, the dining room was unsupervised by staff. On two occasions, the inspectors had to alert staff to the fact that a resident was removing clothing, including continence…

At the end of the inspection, a feedback meeting was held to report on the findings, according to Hiqa. Inspectors issued an immediate action plan in respect of a number of issues identified and on the evening of the inspection received email details of the provider’s response to it.

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