Belfast Telegraph

Residents 'not bathed for a month'

Elderly residents in a nursing home were not bathed for a month, a scathing report has found.

The health watchdog revealed pensioners were unkempt and unshaven during a spot-check at Owen Riff Nursing Home in Galway in April, while many wore dirty clothes.

The courts ordered the owners of the private home in Oughterard to cease operating within days of inspectors expressing "grave concern" for the safety and welfare of up to 22 residents.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said it found evidence of poor management of medication, inadequate staffing levels, and raised concerns over nutrition, dietary provisions and meals being served late.

Some residents ate breakfast when it was almost lunch time, and one man in the dining room called for assistance, but there was no staff member to respond, they found.

"This resident was unkempt, unshaven and his eyes were crusted and sore," inspectors said.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has since taken over the running of the former family-run facility. It is understood another private firm is seeking registration to take over the premises.

The previous registered owner - Riverside Nursing Home Ltd - withdrew an appeal against the closure order last month.

In its final report inspectors said some residents were in bed very late in the morning, that the atmosphere was subdued and staff appeared hurried with no time for conversation with residents.

Elsewhere, grave concerns were raised over staffing levels and skill-mix of workers, adding that management had difficulty recruiting staff so relied on agency staff who were unfamiliar with residents and fire procedures.

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