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Leftover food and no privacy: Hiqa raises serious concerns over Dublin hospital conditions

The inspection at Cherry Orchard Hospital took place in November last year.

Cherry Orchard Hospital, Dublin
Cherry Orchard Hospital, Dublin
Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

AN INSPECTION REPORT on a hospital in Dublin has expressed concern about residents’ rights and lack of social care needs.

The inspection at Cherry Orchard Hospital took place in November of last year. This was the third inspection of this centre that has identified an unacceptable level of non-compliance.

During the inspection, inspectors visited the designated centre, met with around 24 residents and spoke with the person in charge and seven staff members.

Cherry Orchard Hospital has a designated nursing home which aims to provide health and social care to its residents.

Unsafe premises

The report detailed that the centre comprised of two units, one unit had a bed capacity of 12 beds and the second unit had a bed capacity of 21. Two bedrooms within the centre were single rooms and the rest of the bedrooms were either double, triple or quadruple bedrooms.

The inspectors noted that this limited the amount of privacy and dignity available to residents.

The building was unclean and poorly maintained, according to the report.

Inspectors found dried food particles and fluid stains within the dining room. One inspector lifted up a tablecloth within one of the dining rooms which was difficult to move because it was stuck to the table with a build-up of moisture and food debris.

Lack of privacy

The report found that residents’ privacy, dignity and respect was not always upheld within the centre.

Inspectors found institutional type practices in operation within the homes of the residents.

Staff members from various locations on campus were seen entering the homes of residents without knocking or ringing doorbells.

Inspectors were not assured that residents were consulted with regarding their finance. Some residents within the centre had restrictive access to their finances, as this was managed through the campus manager’s office. Some residents could only access their money at specific times when the office was opened.

Social care needs

Inspectors requested to view eight specific residents’ personal social care plans. Just three residents had a plan in place, out of the eight requested. The report noted that these plans were not social care plans, as medical conditions were outlined as being goals such as maintaining body temperature.

It found that goal planning at the centre was inadequate.

Two plans focused on increased activities as a goal and the action plans stated that staff members spoke with the resident’s family and that the family members agreed they would try and increase activities when the resident visited them at home during the weekends.

Therefore, the social care needs of residents were redirected to family members to achieve instead of the staff members within the centre.

No garda vetting

The inspectors found that measures to safeguard residents were not put in place at the centre.

From viewing the training records, some staff members had attended training in the area of safeguarding residents and the prevention, detection and response to abuse. However, inspectors spoke with six members of staff and none of them could demonstrate sufficient knowledge in this area.

The person in charge of the centre told inspectors that seven longstanding members of staff were yet to be garda vetted. However, they said this would be completed within the required time of the National Vetting Bureau Act 2012.

At the end of the visit, the Hiqa inspectors acknowledged the cooperation and assistance of all the people who participated in the inspection.

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