Republic of Ireland news

More than 200 accidents and incidents at Co Louth care home

By Ed Carty

MORE than 200 accidents and incidents were recorded last year at a care centre run by St John of God in Co Louth, watchdogs have revealed.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said the 234 reports included assaults among residents, physical and verbal abuse, violence and aggression, exposure to bodily fluids, falls, self-injurious behaviour, unexplained bruising and marks on residents, and residents going missing.

They said the service at the Bliain Orga centre in Co Louth was "poor quality, unsafe, undignified and inappropriate".

Inspectors also found two serious incidents last September, when a resident needed medical treatment but this was not reported to Hiqa as required under law.

It is not the first time Hiqa has raised concerns about standards in the centre, which is home to 20 people in four houses, many of whom have "significant individual and complex medical needs".

Inspectors said they reviewed a folder containing 70 "allegations of abuse" forms from 2015 which mainly involved assaults between residents and instances of violence and aggression.

Hiqa went in unannounced in January and found that management had failed to meet a deadline to re-home some of the residents in more suitable and appropriate places in the community by last September.

In a separate report on St John of God's Ladywell Lodge, also in Co Louth, issues were raised over privacy, dignity, opportunities for social engagement and institutional practices facing the 12 residents.

Inspectors said that listening to Mass on the radio or listening to music were listed as "meaningful day activities".

In a third report, St John of God's Broomfield centre in Co Louth, which offers respite breaks to adults and children in a seven-bedroom house, was found to be unsuitable.

A spokesman for St John of God Community Services said the vast majority of incidents in Bliain Orga resulted in no injuries or negligible or minor injury.

He also said the delayed re-homing of residents will take place this year.

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