Allegations of abuse at a private nursing home in Co Limerick were not investigated fully, according to an inspection report by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

The watchdog’s inspection of Beechwood House in Newcastle West found major non-compliance in several areas and resulted in the appointment of a new person in charge of the facility.

The unannounced follow-up inspection, which was  carried out over two days in May this year, found that the governance and management of the centre was ineffective.

A number of allegations of abuse were documented as complaints and not as allegations of abuse and were not investigated fully.

In a number of cases there was no evidence that any action was taken or that any measures were put in place to prevent reoccurrence.

These allegations were also not notified to HIQA as required by regulations.

Inspectors were not satisfied that all reasonable measures had been taken to protect residents from abuse, or to put the necessary systems in place.

A full review of the governance and management systems was to be carried out urgently by an external company by end of June.

A HIQA spokesperson said it was engaged in ongoing regulatory activity in relation to the nursing home.

The inspection report also found that there was no evidence of the physiotherapist being involved in moving and handling assessments and inspectors did not see any evidence of these being completed.

The physiotherapist was also not involved in drawing up or the prescribing of mobility care plans for residents.

Many of the actions required in relation to staffing levels, institutional practices, assessment, care planning, staff training and complaints procedure remained non-compliant.

In addition, 27 bed rails were seen in use as restraints.

There was a high turnover of staff and issues with staff retention and recruitment.

However, feedback from residents and relatives was generally positive and indicated satisfaction with the staff and care provided, but all identified a shortage of staff as their main concern.

Residents' healthcare needs were generally maintained to a good standard with regular doctor visits.

Non-compliance found at Blackrock nursing home

A HIQA inspection of a private nursing home in Blackrock, Co Louth found major non-compliance in safeguarding for residents.

Inspectors found that Blackrock Abbey did not provide adequate assurances that residents with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia were appropriately supported and managed and because of that posed a risk to themselves or other residents.

Due to the level of risk identified, inspectors required action to be taken to ensure all residents in the centre were appropriately safeguarded, with a new action plan to be completed within five working days.

The nursing home provider did respond to HIQA within the timescale and advised that a schedule of action was under way to meet all residents' safeguarding and safety needs.

The report found that not all residents had a care plan to meet their assessed needs, however the health needs of residents were generally met, although improvements were required to ensure residents' healthcare including medication management was provided to a high standard.

The centre cares for 60 residents - mostly older people with dementia.  In addition, 19 residents had an intellectual disability.

The inspection was carried out over two days in July.