Flu deaths’ report - poor controls at home

Nazareth House
Nazareth House

An Inishowen nursing home where seven residents died following a flu outbreak had “no established procedure” for early detection of the virus, according to a new report.

The report follows an inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority after seven elderly residents died at the Nazareth House home in Fahan in March and April.

It found that while the residents were well cared for, there were shortcomings in cleanliness, staffing arrangements, and reporting procedures.

Inspectors visited the Inishowen home on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th before compiling the report.

They said the home failed to comply with regulation in some aspects of infection prevention and control and did not have proper procedures in place to cover when the person in charge was not there.

“Robust communication procedures were not in place. Senior management was not communicated with in a timely manner and there was a lack of clarity and accountability about how the information on the outbreak had been reported,” the report said.

However, the inspectors found that “in general the healthcare arrangements for residents was satisfactory”, with significant interventions and specialist advice from local doctors and other professionals.

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said lessons must be learned from the report to prevent further deaths in future.