Enforcement action taken at Co Tyrone care homes
Enforcement action has been taken against two Co Tyrone care facilities after hazardous cleaning chemicals and razors were left unattended, posing a risk to patients.
Failure to comply notices were issued by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in respect of both the Three Rivers Care Centre and the Three Rivers Residential Care Home in Omagh.
It is the latest in a series of actions taken by the RQIA at the two care facilities, after "serious concerns" identified by inspectors in May had still not been properly addressed almost three months later.
The homes are owned by Zest Care Homes Limited.
The most recent inspections at the Three Rivers homes on August 15 revealed hazardous cleaning chemicals, patient razors and other toiletries left unsecured, which the RQIA said posed potential risks to the safety of resident there.
Food thickeners were observed in an unlocked clinical room, which left it accessible by residents, while the linen store was not adequately stocked and bed linen in some patients' bedrooms was worn and not fit for purpose.
In August last year the RQIA carried out an inspection at the Three Rivers Care Centre after a relative of a resident, a member of staff, and the Western Health and Social Care Trust raised concerns about the home.
On that occasion enforcement action was not taken by the RQIA. However, the inspector was concerned that some aspects of quality of care and service delivery at the home were "below the minimum standard expected".
These were sufficiency of staff numbers to meet the needs of patients; induction of agency staff; management of the general environment in the home, and alleged poor communication between staff and relatives.
It emerged during that inspection that staff from the residential unit helped their colleagues on the nursing unit due to staff shortages.
The Belfast Telegraph asked the Three Rivers Care Homes company to respond to the issues raised by the RQIA during its inspection last month. However, no comment was received.
A spokeswoman for the Western Health and Social Care Trust moved to reassure patients and their families that they are continuing to monitor the situation.
The Western Trust spokeswoman said: "The Western Trust is aware of a recent RQIA Inspection at Three Rivers Care Centre and Three Rivers Private Residential Care Home and the failure to comply notices issued.
"The trust is working closely with RQIA and the management of Three Rivers Care Centre and private residential care home to address the concerns raised. The Western Trust would like to offer assurances that the safety and wellbeing of the residents remains our priority."