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Families ‘shocked and saddened’ by findings of HIQA report on Dealgan House

Families ‘shocked and saddened’ by findings of HIQA report on Dealgan House

The families of the residents who died in Dealgan House Nursing Home say they are “shocked and saddened” by many of the findings in the HIQA inspection report that has been published today.

The report found there were staffing shortages, poor communication and in some instances a lack of adherence to infection control measures at the facility.

The inspection report at the Toberona facility said families were not afforded the opportunity to be with their loved ones when they were dying and many were traumatised by what happened.

The inspection was carried out at the home on May 27th and 28th and followed the deaths of 22 residents.

The nursing home was informed of the inspection on May 26th.

There were 58 residents at the home on the day of the inspection. One resident was in hospital.

It’s one of 31 inspection reports on nursing homes published today by HIQA, which looked at Covid-19 outbreaks, preparedness and residents deaths.

The report into Dealgan House details how the Chief Inspector of HIQA was advised of the outbreak at the home on April 7th.

It noted that in April more than 60% of the all staff – including 70% of the nursing staff – were unable to work due to contracting Covid-19.

The inspection said the facility experienced significant delays in accessing test results for residents and staff.

It noted that staffing shortages were further compounded by a number of staff unable to return to work until their test results came back.

HIQA said the senior management team was also significantly impacted by Covid-19, and therefore unable to work and oversee the care and services in the home.

The management team was reduced to the assistant director of nursing who continued to work throughout the outbreak.

As there were no administration staff to support nursing and care staff during the outbreak, telephones were not answered and communication with families broke down as a result, the report noted.

This created high levels of anxiety and distress as families did not receive accurate information about their loved ones.

During the two-day inspection, inspectors said staff spoke with deep respect and profound sadness about those residents who had died during the outbreak.

The families said they will be raising many of the issues with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly when they meet with him next week.

They say the report galvanises their calls for a public inquiry into Dealgan House Nursing Home.

A statement issued by the families said: “We are shocked and saddened by the report which has been published today.

“We note that HIQA has determined in their inspection report that there was noncompliance with regulations in several critical areas such as staffing, infection control, risk management, health care and governance and management.

“There are a significant number of areas where we have particular concerns, which have been highlighted in the report, including the fact that during the outbreak there was ‘no representative from the provider available in the designated centre to provide support and leadership for staff and to ensure that there was appropriate oversight of the care and services provided to residents.’

“In addition, the report showed how the inspectors found on 27th May 2020 ‘that the registered provider had not ensured that the number and skill-mix of the staff was appropriate having regard to the needs of the current residents, the current infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance.’

“We are surprised to read that the inspectors had to put ‘an immediate action plan’ in place on the first day of the inspection because ‘the inspectors were not assured that residents were being monitored twice daily in order to detect signs and symptoms of potential Covid-19 infections early.’

“This happened on the first day of a two-day announced inspection on 27th May 2020 just days after the RCSI Hospital Group handed back operational control to the registered providers.
Further HIQA reported that at the time of the inspection “the standards of care provided to some of the residents at the time of inspection were not in line with best available evidence” and as a result, some residents were being offered daily bed baths in their rooms as there was no access to communal shower facilities due to the Covid 19 outbreak.

“The report galvanises our calls for a public inquiry into Dealgan House Nursing Home. It is clear that this report will only add to the questions that we have about what exactly happened to our loved ones.

“We are acutely aware of the ongoing situation of Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and we believe that by examining what happened at Dealgan House Nursing Home, the wider lessons that are so badly needed by the health authorities can be learned and implemented in full to avert a similar tragedy ever happening again.”