Residents at St Brigid’s Hospital are living in conditions that are ‘not clean and hygenic’ whilst staff on St Ita’s Ward are not sufficiently trained to provide appropriate care, according to a new inspectors report published last week.
Representatives from the Mental Health Commission found that the Ardee facility was non-compliant to standards across 12 of 33 areas inpected during the unannounced three day visit to the Kells Road hospital last September.
The inspection came 11 months after the previous inspection which was held in October 2015. Whereas in 2015 just four areas – including the storing and administering of prescription medicines and health and safety – were found to be non-compliant, that number has now risen to 12.
The MHC says that of those 12 areas, four are considered high risk. Those include General Health and Staffing. No areas inspected on St Ita’s Ward are considered a critical risk or deemed inadequate.
The report deemed that St Brigid’s Hospital did not comply with staffing regulations, saying that staff ‘were not sufficiently trained to enable them to provide appropriate care and treatment’ whilst it also noted that the ‘number and skill mix of staffing was inaequate to meet residents needs.’
In remarking that all staff had completed orientation training and induction training, the report concludes that some healthcare professionals on the staff on St Ita’s Ward were not trained in areas such as Basic Life Support, Fire Safety and management of violence and agression.
Over the course of the three days of the inspection, there was one instance in which a resident had to be physically restrained. The report claims there was a failure to notify the resident’s next of kin of the episode of physical restraint, as is policy. It was also found that there was no record of the resident who been being restrained being given the opportunity to discuss the episode with the multi-disclipinary team.
The inspection report states that St Ita’s ‘was not kept in a good state of repair internally or externally. There were broken electrical sockets, chipped paint and dirty areas.’ It also said ‘flooring and bathroom areas were not maintained to a clean standard.’
The report said ‘the approved centre was not clean and hygenic’.
St Brigid’s Hospital in Ardee has been in operation since 1933. In 2015, the opening of a psychiatric health centre at Crosslanes in Drogheda saw the acute admission unit at St Brigid’s close – leaving St Ita’s Ward as the sole remaining unit still operating ath the facility.
The unit – which has a capacity of 20 beds and provides continued care and old age psychiatry care – had 16 residents upon last year’s inspection.