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Dublin: 13°C Thursday 17 June 2021

"Excessive and problematic" drinking by nursing home residents

HIQA found that residents at a Tipperary nursing home socialised, but that at times their alcohol consumption led to challenging behaviours.

A REPORT BY the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has found that there were issues with alcohol consumption by residents of a Co Tipperary nursing home.

The inspection was of Cluain Arann Welfare Home, Avondale Crescent, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary, which provides residential services to people primarily over the age 65 years who are independent or of low dependency.

This was the third inspection of the centre. It was unannounced and took place over two days. There were 13 residents in the centre and the inspectors saw that they had a good level of independence and spoke well of the staff.

Delivery of care

However, the inspection said there was “little or no evidence to support that the delivery of care and services to residents was embedded in the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centre’s for Older People) Regulations 2009 (as amended) or the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland”.

Staff said that all of the current residents consumed tobacco, and a designated smoking room was provided. However their capacity to safely smoke independently and unsupervised was not risk-assessed.

Many residents continued to access and socialise in the community on a regular basis.

HIQA said that “based on their observations, records reviewed and staff spoken with, inspectors were satisfied that at times the consumption of alcohol by some residents was excessive and problematic, compromised their safety and led to challenging behaviours”.

There was no policy, risk assessments or adequate documentation in place in relation to alcohol consumption.


The inspection found there was “little evidence” to support that procedures to promote and protect the health and safety of residents, staff and others “were robustly implemented and monitored”.

There was a lack of clarity in practice as to the recording and review of accidents and incidents, and hot water was not provided at a temperature that prevented risk of scalding.

All of the residents were self-administering their medication, but the report found that the medication management policies did not reflect or were not fully inclusive of the systems in place there.

The inspectors saw that the quantity and quality of the meals provided was adequate, freshly prepared, well presented and enjoyed by residents, but one resident with a swallow care plan was provided with “unsafe” foods.

Residents spoken with confirmed that many of them continued to lead independent and fulfilling lives, said the report, and were facilitated by the level of support and supervision provided by the ethos of the home.

However, the report found there were deficits in both the scope of and attendance at staff education and training.

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