Five north Dublin nursing home residents died in three separate disease outbreaks, Hiqa finds

Some staff of Raheny facility wore masks below their nose while some equipment was not cleaned properly

Five residents died during three separate disease outbreaks in a north Dublin nursing home, an inspection by the health and safety watchdog has found.

On Thursday, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published 48 inspection reports on residential centres for older people.

According to a report into TLC Carton in Raheny, the centre experienced three separate outbreaks since January, relating to norovirus (vomiting bug), Covid-19 and respiratory illness such as influenza.

“At the time of the inspection, the norovirus outbreak had recovered with two confirmed cases and thirteen suspected cases. The Covid-19 and respiratory illness outbreaks were current at the time of the inspection. There were 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 27 confirmed cases of influenza,” the report said.

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“In addition there was 30 cases of suspected influenza like illness. There had been five deaths during the current outbreaks.”

The report said staff in the centre had access to the HSE’s public health department for outbreak support and the inspectors said they were assured actions required by the public health team has been completed.

However, Hiqa still highlighted concerns around infection control, stating the “arrangements did not ensure the sustainable delivery of safe and effective infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship”.

At the time of the inspection, some staff were wearing masks below their nose, which reduces the effectiveness in preventing the spread of respiratory droplets, with inspectors also stating some equipment was not cleaned properly after use, which “may increase the spread of infection”.

The centre outlined a plan to help it come into compliance with the regulations, including refresher training for staff on infection prevention and control, as well as outbreak management.

Meanwhile, in a different centre, Belmont House Private Nursing Home, in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, “significant fire safety concerns” were highlighted.

Inspectors observed corridors being fully blocked by storing hoists, linen trolleys, a table used as a nursing station and chairs or other residents’ assistive equipment.

“The inappropriately stored equipment blocked an entrance to a resident’s bedroom and evacuation escape routes, as well as blocked residents’ access to the windows and enjoying the view,” the report said.

“This posed a risk in respect of the safe and timely evacuation of residents in the event of a fire. An immediate action plan was issued that evening, and while some of the corridors were cleared from obstructions by the second day of the inspection, some other corridors remained blocked.”

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