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Concerns raised over fire safety and personal rights in Meath nursing home

Hiqa inspected the Silvergrove Nursing Home in January.

Silvergrove Nursing Home, Meath
Silvergrove Nursing Home, Meath
Image: Google Maps

AN INSPECTION REPORT on a nursing home in Meath has expressed concerns about residents’ rights and dignity, along with shortfalls in management.

The unannounced inspection at Silvergrove Nursing Home took place between 23 and 24 January. Nine areas, such as management and social needs, were examined by the Health Quality and Information Authority (Hiqa) during the inspection. Just one area was found to be compliant.

Silvergrove Nursing Home is a family-owned business. On the day of the inspection, there was a total of 24 residents present on the premises. The inspectors met with the residents, relatives and staff members.

Residents’ rights

The report noted that each resident had a daily activities document and care plan.

Overall, the inspectors found that there are adequate facilities for occupation and recreation, including the opportunity to undertake personal activities in private.

However, while staff did their utmost to support the rights and dignity of residents, a number of shortfalls were identified.

The storage in some double rooms was inadequate. Residents could not access their personal bedside lockers because they were positioned behind the beds and out of reach.

On the first day of the inspection, the centre didn’t have adequate bath towels available to attend to residents’ needs.

The inspectors noted that the floor space in double rooms didn’t allow for residents who had specialised seating requirements to sit at their bedside if they wished to do so.

Furthermore, the inspectors witnessed examples of call bells not within reach of residents who were in bed.

Health and safety issues

The report found that there were fire policies and procedures in place at the centre and that each staff member spoken to was familiar with evacuation requirements of residents.

However, the inspectors found that the weekly fire alarm activation check had not been carried out since October 2017. They also found multiple examples of fire doors wedged open.

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On discovering this shortfall in an activation check, the inspectors requested that the fire alarm be tested. The alarm was activated and found to be in working order. However, the test revealed that the magnetic function in four of the fire doors was not in working order.

Failings in management

The inspector found that the management structure at the nursing home was not sufficiently robust.

They found that management systems were not in place to ensure that the service provided was safe, appropriate to residents’ needs, consistent and effectively monitored.

For example, inspectors found evidence of peer-to-peer abuse that had occurred within the centre. While the incident was recorded, Hiqa received no notification as per requirements.

Ending the inspection, the inspectors acknowledged the cooperation and assistance of all the people who participated in the inspection.

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