Damning report on Merlin Park nursing home

An aerial view of Merlin Park Hospital

Galway City Tribune – The water supply of a State-run city nursing home was contaminated by potentially deadly Legionella bacteria and was not safe for use, according to one of the findings of a damning Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report.

An unannounced inspection of Merlin Park Community Nursing Home (Unit 5 and 6) discovered that the HSE-owned facility failed to comply with 10 separate regulations of health law.

Though residents of the home were largely complimentary of the care provided by staff, some of them complained that showers were not always in working order, and when they did work, often the water was cold.

Staff interviewed as part of the inspection spoke of their “frustration” at the “ongoing issues” and said it was “difficult to plan their work and provide quality care to some residents in the absence of support and action on behalf of the registered provider representative”. In personal accounts, staff detail archaic conditions in the home, whereby they had to carry basins of hot water from one side of the building to the other to wash residents because showers were not working.

The inspection, carried out over two days in December and January and published last week, revealed a litany of failings at the nursing home, where 46 old people were residing.

Among the failings detailed in the 36-page report were inadequate infection control, which put residents at ‘high risk’ of acquiring healthcare associated infections; and poor governance that impacted on the quality and safety of care of residents.

The operator of the nursing home issued a response to each of the failings and outlined what it had done or was planning to do to rectify its shortcomings and comply with regulations.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article and the details of the findings, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.