Nursing home narrowly escapes closure

Closure-threatened nursing home told to improve infection control after six residents die during Covid-19 outbreak

A nursing home which narrowly escaped closure following several damming Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspections has been told to improve infection control procedures after six residents died during a Covid-19 outbreak.

HIQA visited Silvergrove Nursing Home, Main Street, Clonee, Co Meath, in June this year after the Chief Inspector was made aware of concerns about the facility.

Inspectors found that out of the 19 regulations inspected, four regulations were noncompliant, eight regulations were substantially compliant, and seven regulations were fully compliant with the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013.

“This inspection found shortcomings in compliance with key regulations which underpin safe resident care including infection control, records, staffing, and food and nutrition,” inspectors noted in their report.

The service provider has since said several improvements to infection control have been made following the inspection, including the safe and appropriate storage of personal protective equipment, monthly infection control audits, and the removal of unused wall dispensers.

Previously, the Chief Inspector issued a notice of decision to cancel the Silvergrove’s registration on foot of inspections which had identified repeated failures to address regulatory non-compliances.

In October 2018, HIQA inspectors found the facility – which has 21 single rooms and seven twin bedrooms – was not in compliance with all the regulations it was assessed against.

“The findings of this inspection were that the registered provider had completely failed to ensure that a safe and effective service was provided for residents living in Silvergrove Nursing Home,” inspectors noted at the time.

“Poor regulatory compliance has been an issue in this centre previously,” they added.

Although some improvements were recorded during a follow-up visit two months later, HIQA said regulatory compliance at Silvergrove was “a work in progress” which required “further sustained attention”.

“In the interim, the level of regulatory non-compliance remains a concern,” the inspectors stated.

The service provider had appealed the Chief Inspector’s decision to cancel its registration to the District Court, and the case was subsequently referred to the High Court for judicial review.

The judicial review held in favour of the Chief Inspector and HIQA, with costs awarded to the health watchdog.

The decision to cancel registration, however, was withdrawn last year following the end of judicial review proceedings and improvements to the quality and safety of care for residents, a HIQA spokesperson told Irish Medical Times.

Following the service provider’s decision to withdraw its appeal of the outcome of the judicial review, HIQA has now made details of the three Silvergrove inspections publicly available on its website,

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