Concern over safeguarding at Limerick nursing home

The Ennis Road Care Facility on the outskirts of Limerick City.

A NURSING home on the outskirts of Limerick City has come under fire from the Health and Information Quality Authority (HIQA) over its system of protection for residents.

Inspectors who made an unannounced visit to the Ennis Road Care Facility on July 25, found it didn’t meet the requirements in four out of twelve necessary areas.

The report raises concerns concerning protection of residents, with one “potential safeguarding incident” deemed to have resulted in no action being taken by staff to ensure that particular resident’s safety.

The Chief Inspector of Social Services had received unsolicited information in relation to the safeguarding of residents.

“A review of this information found the issues of concern to be partially substantiated,” the report stated.

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The inspectors were critical of the governance and management of the nursing home.

They said that information requested for the inspection was not “provided in a timely manner”, and stated that it was their opinion that the nursing home’s risk management system “failed to ensure that resident safety was effectively managed”.

The centre had experienced a significant outbreak of Covid-19 in April 2020.

Subsequent inspections of the centre in May, July, and September 2020 and February 2021 found “ineffective governance systems in place during inspections of the centre”.

An inspection in August 2021 had found some improvements in the governance systems, however, the findings of this inspection were that “these improvements had deteriorated and that the provider had failed to ensure that the governance systems in the centre were safe, and effectively monitored”.

The home had 64 residents in situ at the time of the inspection. The report stated that, overall, “the atmosphere in the centre was warm and relaxed. Residents told the inspectors that they enjoyed their life in the centre and that staff knew them well, and treated them with kindness”.

Residents were observed to be engaged in social activities throughout the day’s inspection.

Residents reported that the quality of food was good with plenty of choice. One resident said that staff would cook them anything they wanted if nothing on the menu appealed to them.

The facility has outlined a number of steps it has taken to address the issues raised in the report, including additional staffing, a centralised action plan, and further safeguarding training.