Almost 60% of nursing homes inspected by HIQA after having outbreaks of Covid-19 may have had more severe outbreaks than they should have had because of weak governance and management.
In a report on the impact of the virus on nursing homes published on Tuesday, HIQA said half of the facilities which had cases weren’t following proper infection prevention and control measures.
In one nursing home the bedroom door of a resident who had tested positive was left open and another facility was deemed so unfit for residents it was taken over by the HSE and ultimately shut down.
In another example care staff were carrying out multiple tasks such as laundry and kitchen duties which posed a risk of cross infection in centre.
HIQA found that multi-occupancy rooms and outdated facilities made it difficult to stop the spread of the virus.
Inspectors found poor contingency planning in the event of managers falling ill, a lack of effective communication and supervision between staff and management and staff shortages.
In one home 29 members of staff tested positive for Covid-19 which had a knock-on effect on nursing care and proper cleaning of the centre in line with guidance.
The Health Information and Quality Authority said it is vital nursing homes be modernised as a matter of urgency “to facilitate physical distancing requirements, allow for infection prevention and control and to give residents the dignity and privacy they deserve”.