• HIQA has found that urgent action is required to address fire safety risks at a Co Roscommon care centre.

    Following an unannounced inspection in December, the State’s health watchdog said governance and management systems at St Eithne’s Rest Care Centre in Tulsk required “review and significant improvement” to ensure the service provided was safe.

    The 10-bed residential centre accommodates elderly members of the local community with low and medium dependency needs. The inspection was carried out to determine what progress had been achieved in addressing issues following a previous inspection in September.

    The September inspection found the centre needed to strengthen its governance and management structures; to take action to reduce and manage the risk of fire, and to limit its number of residents to a level that could be cared for safely.

    During the December inspection, Hiqa found the centre had not taken the necessary action to mitigate risks and had failed to improve regulatory compliance.


    Inspectors were not assured there was sufficient staff with an appropriate skill-mix available to effectively meet the needs of residents. They also observed that residents were sitting in the sittingroom for most of the day unsupervised.

    They called for a complete staffing review to ensure that a safe standard of care was delivered.

    HIQA said actions to address fire safety remained outstanding.

    Inspectors also said some residents had high dependency needs, which the centre was not structured or resourced to safely care for.

    The report said not all staff had up to date training in fire safety, moving and handling, inection control and prevention, or food hygiene education.

    It also said not all residents had access to the type of bed they required, and the bed linen was threadbare and needed replacing.


    Management at St Eithne’s in Tulsk said steps have since been taken to address the concerns outlined by Hiqa.

    The inspection report was one of 48 on residential centres for older people published by Hiqa yesterday.




  • It has taken an ambulance at least an hour to arrive at a life-threatening emergency more than 120 times this year.

    On one occasion, it was nearly four hours before a patient was attended to.

    According to guidelines from the Health Information and Quality Authority, an ambulance should arrive at life-threatening emergencies in less than 19 minutes in 80 percent of cases.

    But new figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show this target isn't being met in the vast majority of cases.

    On 123 occasions in the first nine months of this year, it was more than an hour before an ambulance arrive.

    Of the response times of more than an hour, 26 were in Wexford, followed by 20 in Cork and 13 in Kerry.

    Nine times this year, it took at least an hour for an ambulance to arrive at a life-threatening emergency in Mayo - one of which was 3 hours and 50 minutes, which was the worst in the country.

  • A Mayo TD says that Tusla needs to increase investment in community based facilities in Mayo.

    Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers was responding to the recent HIQA report Into Tusla at a recent sitting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
    Highlighting the challenges that the report identified, and the implications for children and families, Deputy Chambers reminded Tusla management of commitments that they have made to improving facilities delivered in communities across the county, and specifically in Co. Mayo, which could assist in addressing the resource shortages the report was highly critical of.
    Deputy Chambers highlighted the case being made in Co. Mayo for additional resources, citing the application submitted from Erris to establish a Family Resource Centre. The Mayo Children and Young Peoples Services Committee, which is resourced by Tusla, have, amongst others, identified the case for this FRC in Erris.

    Deputy Chambers said Tusla should listen to other parts of their organisations and open these facilities now.

  • A proposal to cancel registration for Áras Attracta in Swinford, a campus-based residential setting for people with intellectual disabilities in Swinford operated by the HSE has been withdrawn by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

    The decision was made following inspections carried out at the facility on January 8th and 9th of this year. The proposal to cancel their registration was issued in September 2017. However on foot of the latest inspection report, the Chief Inspector of Social Services in HIQA has withdrawn that proposal and is inviting the HSE to apply to register these centres. However HIQA has said in a statement that it remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and the areas of continued non-compliance.

    The Health Information and Quality Authority has published three inspection reports for centres in Áras Attracta today.

    It found that improvements had been made to residents’ safety and quality of life since the previous inspections in May 2017. The HSE had implemented, or was in the process of implementing, the majority of actions required following previous inspections, within the agreed time frames. Revised management and oversight arrangements had been put in place in all three centres and appropriate action was now being taken in relation to safeguarding concerns.

    Inspectors found that residents were now afforded more choice in how they spent their day and in how they decorated their bedrooms. Residents could now take part in activities of interest to them. Residents and their families could now participate in making decisions that affect them through regular resident and family forums. Some residents had recently moved out of the campus into more appropriate housing in the community, while other residents told inspectors that they were looking forward to their move into the community.

    However, improvements are required in a number of areas across the campus:

    • further improving oversight of the quality and safety of care,
    • increasing opportunities for residents to participate in education, training or employment,
    • completing fire prevention upgrade work, as required by the HSE’s fire consultant,
    • making sure residents have an accessible version of their personal plan,
    • providing further training to ensure staff can meet residents' assessed needs,
    • ensuring staff files contain all records to verify that they are appropriate to work in the centre, as required under the regulations.

    While there continues to be non-compliance in areas such as the workforce, risk management, governance, suitability of accommodation on the campus and aspects of social care provision, the HSE has submitted a satisfactory action plan to fully address these issues and bring the centres into full compliance with the regulations and standards.

    On the basis of the HSE’s overall plan for the campus and the action plans submitted following these inspections, HIQA has withdrawn the notices of proposal to cancel the registration of the campus. This will provide the HSE with an opportunity to fully implement their action plans. However, HIQA remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and will continue to monitor the campus closely to ensure that the provider continues to improve residents’ care, safety and quality of life. HIQA now expects to receive completed applications for the registration of centres in Áras Attracta and, when received, the Chief Inspector will give due consideration to these.




  • The third National Patient Experience Survey is now underway covering hospitals across the country. 

    This annual survey ,the largest of its kind in Ireland, according to Tracey O'Carroll of HIQA, offers patients the opportunity to share their experiences in hospital and tell hospital management what improvements they believe are necessary. It provides a clear picture of the safety and quality of care in Irish hospitals, as seen through the eyes of patients.

     An estimated 28,000 patients will be eligible to participate in this year’s survey — almost 1000 in Mayo and 2000 patients in Galway.

    The National Patient Experience Survey contains a total of 61 questions on topics such as admission to hospital, care and treatment on the ward, trust in hospital staff, respect and dignity, and discharge from hospital. All patients aged over 16 years-of-age who spend 24 hours or more in hospital and are discharged during the month of May are eligible to participate in the survey.

     To find out more about the survey, you can visit the website www.patientexperience.ie