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Galway Nursing Home Under Scrutiny: Alarming Money Control and Fire Safety Concerns Uncovered

Galway Nursing Home Under Scrutiny: Alarming Money Control and Fire Safety Concerns Uncovered

The inspection of Aperee Living Galway revealed serious concerns about the management of residents’ money and fire safety risks in the nursing home. The provider was found to be holding residents’ funds in their own bank account, leading to concerns about the safeguarding of the funds. Additionally, a fire safety risk assessment identified significant issues, including limited compartmentation on the upper floor and a lack of progress in addressing the identified risks. These findings highlight the need for urgent action to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.

In a recent inspection of Aperee Living Galway, a nursing home located on the Headford Road, inspectors discovered alarming concerns regarding the control of residents’ money and fire safety risks. The report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) revealed that the provider was acting as a pension agent for one resident and held a small amount of money belonging to the estates of two deceased residents. However, inspectors found that the provider was holding residents’ money in the company’s bank account, raising serious concerns about the management and safeguarding of these funds.

Inspectors were particularly troubled by the manner in which residents’ funds were being managed, emphasizing that they were not adequately safeguarded. As a result, an urgent compliance plan request was issued to the provider during the inspection to ensure that the center was adequately resourced to provide a safe and effective service to residents. The report highlighted the need for immediate action to address the concerns regarding the management of residents’ finances.

Furthermore, a fire safety risk assessment commissioned in November 2021 and an inspection conducted by inspectors of social services in June 2022 revealed significant issues of concern in relation to fire safety. Despite the submission of a compliance plan by the provider, minimal action had been taken to address the identified risks, leading to further worries about the safety of residents, staff, and visitors. Inspectors found that the majority of the issues identified in the fire safety assessment had not been addressed during the inspection, and there was no information available regarding when the necessary works would commence. This lack of progress in managing the fire safety risks was deemed ineffective and posed a significant threat to the well-being of those in the nursing home.

The fire risk assessment specifically highlighted the limited compartmentation on the upper floor of the center, where up to 20 residents were accommodated in one compartment. In the event of a fire, these 20 residents would need to be evacuated from this area. The provider had committed to commencing fire safety works to reduce the size of the compartmentation, allowing for the containment of smoke and fire and the safe evacuation of residents. However, this work had not yet begun, leaving the risks associated with the current arrangement unresolved.

In addition to the inspection of Aperee Living Galway, a separate inspection was carried out at Tara Winthrop private Clinic in Swords, Co Dublin. Residents and their loved ones reported that the staff were kind, patient, and went above and beyond to help residents. However, concerns were raised about the insufficient staffing levels. Residents reported waiting for up to 30 minutes for assistance to attend the bathroom due to inadequate staff levels. There were also reports of delays in night time staff answering call bells, and on one occasion, a resident had to contact their relative to phone the center in order to get a response. Visitors expressed concerns about the lack of senior management support for staff, particularly during times of staff shortage or challenging situations like a Covid-19 outbreak.

Furthermore, the report found that oversight of medication practices in the center was inadequate. Inspectors identified several issues that had not been identified by the management team, posing risks to the monitoring and appropriate storage of medication.

These findings highlight the need for immediate action to address the concerns raised during the inspections. The management of residents’ finances must be improved to ensure the safeguarding of their funds. Additionally, urgent measures are required to address the fire safety risks identified in the nursing home. Adequate staffing levels, especially during nighttime, must be ensured to provide timely and efficient care for residents. Oversight of medication practices should also be strengthened to prevent any potential risks associated with medication management.

Overall, the inspection of Aperee Living Galway and Tara Winthrop private Clinic reveals serious concerns about the control of residents’ money and fire safety risks in nursing homes. These findings underscore the importance of rigorous inspections and regulatory oversight to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable residents. It is crucial that appropriate actions are taken promptly to address these concerns and provide a safe and effective service to residents in nursing homes.

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