Hiqa has been warning about situations in Aperee’s Ballygunner nursing house for a number of months, paperwork present
Three officers from the Well being Data and High quality Authority (Hiqa) had been sitting round a convention room desk within the healthcare watchdog’s Cork workplaces on September eighth, ready to ship unhealthy information.
Following months of backwards and forwards after a number of extremely essential inspections, the regulator was taking the drastic step of shutting down a Co Waterford nursing house, run by personal firm Aperee Dwelling.
Susan Cliffe, Hiqa’s deputy chief inspector of nursing houses, and two different colleagues had been attributable to meet David O’Shea, the only director of Aperee, at 3.15pm that Friday.
The assembly had initially been attributable to begin at 2.30pm, however quarter-hour beforehand Aperee had requested it’s pushed again by 45 minutes.
When Mr O’Shea didn’t present up, Hiqa officers tried to contact him by cellphone with out success, earlier than he arrived at 3.25pm.
Throughout the assembly, Ms Cliffe outlined how the Well being Service Government (HSE) would take over Aperee Dwelling Ballygunner, Co Waterford, from October seventh, till the 46 residents dwelling there have been moved to different care houses.
At that time Aperee Dwelling, an organization based by Mr O’Shea’s Cork-based investments agency the BlackBee Group, was operating 10 nursing houses, caring for about 550 residents.
The nursing house group has been below critical monetary pressure this yr, with a number of suppliers chasing Aperee over unpaid payments.
An Garda Síochána can also be inspecting considerations referred to it by Hiqa over the inappropriate use of residents’ cash.
Hiqa inspections discovered repeated cases the place residents’ cash was getting used to cowl the operating prices of Aperee nursing houses, earlier than the accounts had been later topped again up.
The watchdog has been warning about situations in Aperee’s Ballygunner nursing house for a number of months, paperwork launched to The Irish Instances below the Freedom of Data Act present.
In a July eleventh assembly, Hiqa tabled the prospect that Aperee’s registration to run the nursing house can be cancelled.
The watchdog mentioned it had “important considerations” in regards to the “health” of Aperee, minutes present. There had been a “failure to behave in good character and have interaction actually and transparently”, the State company mentioned.
The nursing house group had didn’t put in place a correct administration construction “to help the supply of secure care to residents”, the minutes additional said.
By the center of September the state of affairs within the Co Waterford nursing house had reached “disaster” level.
Inspectors from the regulator had flagged critical fears in regards to the low ranges of staffing within the house, hearth security considerations in addition to ongoing governance shortcomings.
Hiqa sought a gathering with Aperee on September 14th to debate the state of affairs. Nonetheless, it was knowledgeable nobody was obtainable to attend.
In an electronic mail later that day, Ms Cliffe mentioned it was “extraordinarily regarding” that Aperee had not been obtainable to debate situations within the Ballygunner house, which was “presently in disaster”.
In parallel discussions with the HSE, the watchdog mentioned nearly all of nurses in Ballygunner had been working there for lower than 10 weeks, with some residents “very frail from a dietary perspective”.
Throughout a digital assembly on September fifteenth Hiqa advised Aperee it had determined to have the HSE take over the house “as quickly as doable”, with the well being service assuming management of the ability three days later.
Officers advised the nursing house group situations had deteriorated to the purpose the place they might not go away residents “uncovered” to the heightened ranges of danger within the care house.
The present disaster dealing with Aperee has not been restricted to at least one nursing house. Hiqa has since moved to close two additional Aperee nursing houses, its facility in Belgooly, Co Cork, and as lately as final week its nursing house in Callan, Co Kilkenny.
Paperwork present Hiqa raised “important considerations” about Aperee’s capability to run its different seven nursing houses, in a September thirteenth assembly.
The turmoil has additionally brought about appreciable disquiet amongst traders backing the nursing house group, one supply mentioned.
Neither Aperee nor Mr O’Shea responded to a collection of questions in regards to the latest correspondence and conferences with Hiqa.