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Hospitals have privacy and dignity issues - Hiqa

August 14th, 2018 10:10 PM

By Brian Moore

Castletownbere Hospital.

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SKIBBEREEN and Castletownbere’s community hospitals have been cited by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) for breaches of residents’ rights, dignity and privacy.

The two West Cork hospitals were included in the latest batch of inspection reports, which were carried out on sixteen nursing homes across the country.

In Skibbereen, the Hiqa inspection report found what it described as a ‘major non-compliance’ with regards to the size and design of four private bedrooms. 

The report described these as small and also said they did not offer residents any privacy.

The inspection report stated: ‘The design and layout had a significant negative impact on residents as they were unable to undertake personal activities in private or meet with visitors in their bedroom in privacy.’ 

However, Skibbereen Community Hospital recently announced plans to extend the hospital complex with the construction of eight single ensuite rooms and a three-bed room, which will also be ensuite.

‘This extension will allow us to reduce our current six-bedded rooms to four, thereby meeting Hiqa standards. We will also be creating a new family room and a quiet sitting room,’ Paddy Ryan, the director of nursing, told The Southern Star.

At present, Skibbereen Community Hospital has 40 beds, and although the development will greatly enhance the healthcare facility, Mr Ryan said the number of residents will not increase. 

In the hospital in Castletownbere, Hiqa inspectors also found inadequate bedroom, dining and recreational area space. 

The report stated that there ‘was insufficient private space available to support privacy during visiting times’ and that residents were limited in the amount of personal belongings they could bring in from home due to the lack of wardrobe space.

Meanwhile, in a separate Health Service Executive (HSE) audit at Bantry General Hospital, auditors found that a lack of a standardised recording system for roster work for consultants and other non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHD) had led to agreed contracted rates not being followed. 

The audit also recorded that 64% of the hospital’s expenditure went to pay consultants and NCHD employees, while 36% went to agency employees such as anesthetics, general medicine, surgery, radiology and A&E. 

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