An inspection report into Cobh Community Hospital has found that residents were left sitting at a table from 11am to 5pm, waiting for activity to take place.

Residents informed inspectors that they usually spent teatime in the bedrooms and were only having tea in the dining room because inspectors were present.

The Health Information & Quality Authority report on the hospital found that most residents were not facilitated to avail of the dining spaces or sitting rooms.

"Most residents sat by their beds during the day and for meals, resulting in their daily lives often being devoid of social events such as those presented by having meals together," the report said.

It said that despite staff making great efforts to improve individual sections and rooms, the prevailing culture of the facility was one more like a hospital rather than a nursing home.

Relatives explained to inspectors that they often brought in disinfectant wipes to clear their relatives' rooms.

The facility is a nursing home which provides 24-hour nursing care to the people of Cobh and the surrounding areas and caters for 44 older adults.

HIQA said that the finding of the inspection was that the facility had "failed to ensure that an effective and safe service was provided for residents".

It found inadequate staffing at night and inadequate arrangements for the storage of oxygen in the centre to protect against the risk of fire.

HIQA said there were gaps in record management and a number of the personnel records did not contain all of the required documents such as written references, photo ID and full CVs.

The centre had a high level of sick leave which resulted in there being a shortage of staff on a daily basis.

It also found that records were not securely stored and that all complaints had not been appropriately recorded.

HIQA said that senior staff did not have job descriptions and there were no clear lines of accountability.

The HIQA inspection found that the governance and management arrangements were ineffective, inadequate and not robust.

In a statement, Cobh Community Hospital said it was a long-established voluntary hospital, acting as a service provider for the Health Service Executive in the care of the elderly in the Cobh area.

It said that following the inspection, the board of management had met HIQA managers on several occasions.

The hospital said it was addressing compliance issues and that a quality improvement plan is in progress, with weekly reporting to HIQA.

Most residents 'enjoy' living in centre

The unannounced inspection took place on 23-24 January this year.

The facility is run by a voluntary board of management. The staff and a large body of community volunteers  help with caring for residents.

Most residents told the inspectors that they enjoyed living in the centre.

The location near the local town meant that their relatives could visit often and they had access to community events.

HIQA said that residents praised the attention and care from staff.

A number of residents felt that their concerns and complaints were not addressed properly and said that they felt that the centre was very short staffed.

HIQA said it conducted the inspection at the facility after a previous inspection last October found serious findings of non-compliance.

Residents told the inspectors that they enjoyed the activities in the centre, especially the music and exercise sessions.

They also said they enjoyed the variety of food each day and the visits from the volunteers and the special events.

The report is one of 34 nursing home inspection reports published today by HIQA.