Mayo Aras Attracta care home reinspections raise major concern – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

‘Still several areas of major non-compliance’

Sligo News File Online

Caoimghlin O'Caolain, TD, Sinn Fein.
Caoimghlin O’Caolain, TD, Sinn Fein.

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has raised concern at the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report on reinspections of Áras Attracta published today. On 9th December 2014, RTÉ broadcast a Prime Time television programme containing hidden camera footage of appalling standards of care for residents in one of the bungalows in Centre 2. Reinspection by HIQA of centre 2 occurred on 4 dates in January of this year.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“I note that while there has been some improvement there are still several areas of major non-compliance. This is extremely worrying as the management and staff must have been acutely aware that a spotlight would descend upon every practice in the centre following the Prime Time revelations.

“The report highlights major compliance issues in relation to abuse control measures with evidence that some procedures in the centre to protect residents from abuse had not been adequately implemented. Some staff members were not clear about what constituted abuse. It was also found that there were insufficient reviews for residents who were prescribed psychotropic medications and inappropriate use of chemical restraint, in the form of medications used to aid sleep.

“The report found that there were major issues with hygiene including a strong smell of urine in two different bungalows during the inspection along with problems of safety compliance including reports of unlocked doors at night, and a witnessed slip by a resident on a wet floor.

“There is reference to major problems with inadequate staffing. How can this be tolerated following what the HSE and management knew after the RTÉ program? The report tells us of a lack of respect for privacy and autonomy. We must think of the many vulnerable residents of Áras Attacta and how we can ensure that they have a safe, clean and enriching home environment. I call on the Minister to give an update on surveillance measures discussed previously, what he has done to ensure that standards in similar homes across the state are adequate and whether the HSE has requested additional funds to address issues in Aras Attracta” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.