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19 Aug 2022

Residents ‘bored’ in Laois nursing home - HIQA inspection

Residents ‘bored’ in Laois nursing home - HIQA inspection

Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home Portlaoise.

An unannounced HIQA inspection of a privately owned Laois nursing home has found that while it was largely compliant, it failed in one area, on residents’ rights.

Kilminchy Lodge nursing home in Portlaoise was inspected on May 21, with 43 residents in the 52 bed unit living there on the day. 

The inspector found that “quality of life was not good”.

“Life in the centre for residents was less restricted due to easing of COVID-19 precautions and while social distancing, they were going about their day as they wished in the centre. Although life in the centre for residents was returning to relative normality, sufficient access to meaningful social activities for residents has not resumed to a level where many of the residents' interests and capabilities were met to their satisfaction. 

“While residents' feedback to the inspector was that staff were attentive to their needs for assistance, respectful of their choices, kind and caring and they were cared for to a very good standard, their quality of life in the centre was not good. 

“Residents said there was an absence of something 'interesting to do, to pass the day' and they longed for visits from their families 'to break the monotony'. Several residents told the inspector they enjoyed a Kilminchy Olympics event in the weeks previous to the inspection but two residents said they were 'bored' again. 

“One other resident said 'there was not enough entertainment' and several others said they were not enjoying their life in the centre. Some residents reminisced to the inspector about the good quality of life they used to enjoy and regretted that their previous quality of life in the centre had not resumed,” the inspector's report said.

The report states that “Most residents did not have sufficient access to group or one-to-one meaningful activities to meet their individual interests and capabilities”.

The HIQA report noted the sad fact that seven residents had died in the unit from Covid-19 last year.

“The centre was recovering from a large COVID-19 outbreak in October 2020 that affected 28 residents and 21 staff. Sadly seven residents passed away due to the viral infection. Learning from this outbreak was implemented and was being regularly reviewed to strengthen the centre's contingency plan and preparedness for a further outbreak. COVID-19 vaccinations were completed for residents and staff,” it said.

It gave a judgement of non compliance for the regulation of Residents’ Rights. ‘Not compliant’ means that considerable action is required. 

The unit was “substantially compliant” in five areas, which means a low risk threat with regulations generally met but with some action needed. Those areas were in training and staff development, premises, risk management, infection control and individual assessment & care plan. 

The nursing home was found to be compliant in the 14 other areas: staffing, directory of residents, records, governance & management, statement of purpose, notification of incidents, complaints procedure, written policies & procedures, visits, personal possessions, fire precautions, health care, managing challenging behaviours, and protection. 

Kilminchy management in response said it would take measures to become fully compliant, with most of these to have been completed by last June or July, and more staff training to be completed by next November to comply with residents' rights.

The inspector also had many positives to report, including the condition of the building.

“The centre was decorated in a homely style that was familiar to the resident profile. Large windows on the communal rooms and bedrooms optimised natural light. Repairs and intermittent painting was completed since the last inspection and facilitated effective cleaning. The centre environment was visibly clean throughout and all equipment was cleaned to a high standard.”

HIQA published its report on the Laois nursing home on Monday August 23, one of 61 inspection reports on residential centres for older people.

"Of the 61 reports published, inspectors found evidence of good practice and compliance with the regulations and standards on 26 of the inspections. In general, these centres were found to be meeting residents’ needs and delivering care in line with the national standards and regulations.

"Inspectors found evidence of non-compliance on 35 inspections. On these inspections, non-compliances were identified in areas including governance and management, infection control, premises, protection, fire precautions, residents’ rights, healthcare and risk management."

Reports and compliance plans can be found on www.hiqa.ie.

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