HIQA releases Dealgan House inspection report

A Health Information and Quality Authority inspection carried out in Dealgan nursing in Dundalk has found there were staffing shortages, poor communication and several key areas during the COVID-19 outbreak which caused 23 residents to die earlier on this year.
The report did however praise staff at the home for the genuine warmth and respect in their dealing with residents.
“The inspectors observed that staff demonstrated genuine warmth and respect in their dealings with the residents they cared for. Staff knew the individual residents well and were able to tell the inspectors about each resident’s past life, family connections and their care needs. Staff were knowledgeable about each resident’s preferences for personal care and for their daily routines and activities. Staff spoke with deep respect and profound sadness about those residents who had died during the outbreak. Staff also spoke with genuine delight as they described how well other residents with COVID-19 had recovered,” read the report.
The inspection which was carried out over two days on the 27th and 28th of May after 23 residents who had tested positive with coronavirus had died. The report concluded that Dealgan House was not compliant in a number of areas including staffing, training and staff development, governance and management, written policies and procedures, healthcare, risk management and infection control.
Areas which Dealgan House were found to be compliant included record keeping, contracts for provision of care, statement of purpose, notification of incidents, complaints procedure, communication care plans, visits, end of life, resident’s rights, managing behaviour that is challenging, premises and medicine and pharmaceuticals.
The report also outlined the issues with staffing shortages throughout April which in turn led to the breakdown of communication between the facility and family members of residents.
It noted that in April more than 60% of the all staff were unable to work due to contracting Covid-19. One of the main issues leading to these shortages where significant delays in accessing test results for both residents and staff. Staff members were unable to return to work until their test results came back negative. At one stage the management team was reduced to just the assistant director of nursing who was forced to continue to work throughout the outbreak.
Meanwhile a statement from families of the residents who died in Dealgan House through Covid released a statement expressing their shock and sadness upon reading the report.
“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.
“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.”

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