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HSE West responds to criticism of nursing numbers at McBride Home

HSE West responds to report on nursing numbers at McBride Home

Áine Ryan

HSE WEST has defended its employment of just two night staff at the MacBride Community Nursing Unit in Westport, just days after being criticsed by  HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority). 
Responding to questions from The Mayo News, a spokeswoman stated: “The bed complement of the MacBride Community Nursing Unit has reduced to 30, and two staff at night is deemed adequate for 30 patients or less.  There are currently 27 patients in the Unit.”
A HIQA report, published last week, noted that the MacBride Nursing Community Unit in Westport does not have enough staff on duty at night.
The report also found that a number of staff had not received Garda clearance at the unit, situated at the Demesne, off the Newport Road.
The inspection report found only one nurse and one care assistant were on duty at the home from 9pm to 7.45am. They were required to care for up to 39 residents, many of whom were highly dependent, the report stated.
Inspectors found the number of staff at night ‘was not appropriate to the assessed needs and dependencies of the residents and the design and layout of the centre’.
The report also said confirmation of Garda vetting had not been obtained for staff at the centre.
Inspectors also raised concerns about the use of restraints at the home and said the home did not comply with the HSE’s policy on restraint. Residents’ risk assessments did not identify alternatives to the use of restraint and there was no supporting evidence to suggest restraint was used as a last resort, the report said.
There was also an insufficient number of staff trained in best practice in the use of restraints.
Responding, HSE West said it had referred the requirement for additional staff at night to senior management and was awaiting a decision.