New admissions have been suspended at a Co Tyrone care home after “serious failings” were raised by Northern Ireland's health watchdog.
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) carried out an inspection of the Valley Nursing Home in Clogher earlier this month and uncovered a series of issues relating to the management and quality of nursing, patient care and hygiene levels at the facility.
Seven failure to comply notices were issued this week, which highlighted a number of actions required by management.
Valley Nursing Home has now been given two months to address the problems.
The Southern Trust has confirmed that it recently suspended new admissions to the Valley Nursing Home.
The Western Trust has also recently suspended new admissions to the care home.
It’s understood that there are around 80 residents currently at the home, receiving a range of care packages.
During the unannounced care inspection on July 6th-8th, the inspector found multiple areas were below a satisfactory hygiene level including stained equipment, poorly maintained fixtures and fittings, ineffective management of clinical waste in some patient areas and a lack of staff handwashing.
A significant number of interior areas were found to be in an unsatisfactory state of repair including unclean and worn decor, damaged furniture while electrical wiring was also partially exposed in one patient corridor of the dementia unit.
The inspector also reported that there was no identified person in charge of the nursing home while staff interactions with patients “on several occasions were noted to be limited”.
One patient informed the inspector that being assisted from bed each day in a timely manner was “hit or miss”.
The RQIA also found that there was not enough seating for all patients in the dining room while meals were not being provided to residents “in a dignified and timely manner”.
Staff were also observed using derogatory terms such as describing those who required assistance with eating and drinking as “feeders” and mealtimes as “feeding time”.
Problems were found at the facility around activities and events for patients and governance arrangements.
The Valley now has until September 16 to make sure it complies with the list of recommendations.
An RQIA spokesperson said today: “During recent inspections of Valley Nursing Home, Clogher, RQIA identified a number of serious failings that impact significantly on the quality of life for people who live in the home.
“We are working closely with HSC trusts to ensure the immediate safety and wellbeing of all the people in the home.
“We have required Valley Nursing Home to demonstrate real improvement to the quality of experience for patients.
“RQIA has a range of enforcement powers and we will use these in the best way to secure improvement for these patients.”
Joel Gray, CEO of MPS Care Group, owners of the Valley Nursing Home, said it was working to fix the issues.
“Valley Nursing Home is working closely with RQIA and local trusts to ensure any matters that needs improvement are dealt with in a timely and swift manner.
“The Southern and Western Trusts are communicating on a frequent basis with the home and the provisions of care have not been compromised.”
DUP leader and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster said the well-being and safety of patients is paramount.
“Today’s news will be worrying for families who have family members residing in Valley Nursing Home.
“The failings found by RQIA must be rectified to ensure this is the case.”
Sinn Fein MLA for Fermanagh South Tyrone Colm Gildernew said the failings uncovered are “deeply concerning” and “a distressing development” for all the carers, residents and their families.
The party’s carers spokesperson added: “This latest inspection by the regulator raises serious issues that the management of the care home must address as a matter of urgency.
“It is not clear how standards within the home were allowed to get to this stage but it is clear that there will be considerable challenges for management and the Health Trusts to address.
“It is crucial that the authorities now respond appropriately and work together with the care home management to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.”