Staff at Donegal nursing home worked extra shifts during Covid outbreak to reduce distress for patients

The kind act was revealed in an inspection report released by HIQA

Leitrim public asked to honour outstanding care in local nursing homes

The staff at Harbour Lights went the extra mile for patients in their care

Staff at Harbour Lights nursing home in Bruckless worked extra shifts to save patients from the distress of unfamiliar agency staff during a Covid outbreak.

That is according to the report of a HIQA inspection which was released this week. The unannounced inspection took place on March 24 and 25, with 38 residents present in the 53-bed facility which overlooks Killybegs harbour.

According to the report: “Inspectors found that resident's received care and services from a well established staff team who knew them well. 

“However significant improvements were required to ensure that each resident's rights to privacy and dignity were upheld and that care was person centred.”

The centre had experienced a significant outbreak of Covid-19 in February 2021 with 35 residents and 11 staff confirmed to have contracted the virus. 

Sadly six residents had died. 

According to HIQA: “It was evident on the inspection that residents and staff in the designated centre had been through a challenging time. 

“Residents acknowledged that staff and management had their best interest at the forefront of everything they did during the outbreak and since.” 

Inspectors spoke with staff, many of whom had worked throughout the outbreak. Staff described how the team had worked additional shifts to ensure that there were enough staff on duty to care for the residents and to reduce the need to bring in agency staff who did not know the residents. 

The report identified a number of ears where improvement was required, and where non-compliance with HIQA standards had been found. Much of this was related to staff shortages, and that there were not enough staff members to keep patients suitably active and occupied during the day. One patient told the inspectors that the day felt very long. 

Other areas where improvements were needed included policies and record keeping; seating in the lounge area being (it was suggested that this could be rearranged to take in the views of Killybegs harbour); worn or poorly maintained decor and furnishings that inhibited adequate cleaning standards being reached; some elements of infection control were deemed non-compliant; insufficient fire safety arrangements; improvements needed in care plans and patient privacy.

The HIQA report outlines the steps that have since been taken by Harbour Lights to reach a high level of compliance. 

The full report can be found at

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