Inspectors critical of nursing home where outbreak killed seven

A report into a Donegal nursing home where seven residents died following a flu outbreak has found there was no procedure for an early detection of influenza.

A report into a Donegal nursing home where seven residents died following a flu outbreak has found there was no procedure for an early detection of influenza.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published a report into the Nazareth House nursing home near Buncrana after nine elderly residents died between March 22nd and April 8th. Seven of the deaths have been classified as possibly caused by an influenza related illness.

Two inspections by HIQA found deficits in the standard of cleanliness and hygiene and the maintenance arrangements for equipment. A number of shower chairs and commodes were not in a satisfactorily clean condition and were rusty.

The report was also critical of communication procedures at the home, which can accommodate 48 residents. It found that senior management was not communicated with in a timely manner and there was a lack of clarity and accountability about how information on the outbreak had been reported.

HIQA also found there was a lack of coordination of information available for residents who were diagnosed with a respiratory illness.

There was also no system to alert professionals to the possibility of an influenza outbreak and this created additional risk, HIQA said.

The inspectors concluded that a protocol would help ensure that outbreaks are appropriately identified, reported and contained.

HIQA also found that there were insufficient nurses on duty to address the increased workload during the outbreak.

There were also deficits in aspects of infection prevention and practice and some areas did not have appropriate accessible supplies of products such as hand gels to assist in good infection control management. Staff training records indicated that not all staff had been trained in infection prevention and control.