Storage of razors and medicines in unlocked cupboards posed risk

Greenhaw Lodge Nursing Home. DER5113JM010
Greenhaw Lodge Nursing Home. DER5113JM010

Razors and medicines in unlocked cupboards, unlabelled chemicals and faeces on the floor of a shower room, were some of the unnecessary risks to the health and wellbeing of residents and staff at a Derry nursing home during an unannounced inspection this summer.

A new report of the inspection by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), on June 14, has revealed that a deep clean of Greenhaw Lodge on the Racecourse Road had to be carried out after a range of hygiene issues were uncovered.

During the routine spotcheck it was reported that “multiple razors were...observed stored in unlocked cupboards in two of the bathrooms” and that “four topical medicines were observed to be stored in an unlocked drawer in an identified bathroom.”

Chemicals were also found to be stored in spray bottles that were unlabelled.

“These issues pose a significant risk of injury or harm to the patients and staff especially given the category of care of the patients supported in the home,” the RQIA report stated.

Several shortcomings in infection, prevention and control were also identified.

For example, “faecal staining observed under toilet roll holders,” “faeces noted on the floor of an identified shower room” and “no evidence of a robust cleaning schedule,” were areas, the inspector said, needed to be addressed.

The report confirmed all of these issues were discussed with the manager and an action plan forwarded to the RQIA. The home also scored well on several measures and “patients described living in the home in positive terms.”

Equally, “patients who could not verbalise their feelings in respect of their care were observed to be relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings.” And “evidence of good practise was found in relation to risk assessment, falls analysis, communication between residents, staff and other key stakeholders, the culture and ethos of the home, maintaining dignity and privacy, quality improvement and maintaining good working relationships”.

Home operator, Larchwood Care (NI) Limited., stated: “The company worked in conjunction with the regulator following the inspection and areas in the home have since been fully refurbished and the environment updated.

“During the inspection it was recognised and reported by the regulator that ‘staff attended to patients needs in a timely and caring manner’ and that ‘staff interactions with patients were observed to be compassionate, caring and timely’.”

An RQIA spokesperson said: “During an unannounced inspection at Greenhaw Lodge Care Centre on June 14, RQIA identified concerns in relation to a range of issues, including infection prevention and control practices.

“As a result, on June 21, RQIA held a serious concerns meeting with the management of this home to highlight our concerns.

“At this meeting the registered person acknowledged the failings identified by RQIA, and provided a comprehensive action plan, detailing their immediate actions to address these concerns.

“As a result, RQIA took no further enforcement action at this time. The safety and wellbeing of every patient at Greenhaw Lodge is of paramount importance to RQIA, and we continue to monitor this service through our ongoing regulatory activities.”

A spokesperson for the Western Trust said: “The Western Trust is aware of a recent RQIA Inspection at Greenhaw Private Nursing Home, Londonderry and are monitoring this very closely to ensure the safety of clients.”