Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health and Disabilities, Colm Keaveney TD, has called for a review of hygiene practices at all HSE care centres following a damning HIQA report of the facilities at Grove House Centre in Cork.
Deputy Keaveney said if minimum standards of hygiene and infection control were not adhered to even when the facility had prior knowledge of the HIQA inspection, then there are serious concerns as to practices in all HSE care centres.
“It is completely unacceptable to have a dirty and unsafe HSE facility that cares for people with mental and physical disabilities. It’s intolerable not to have clean toilets, washing facilities and infection control at the care centres, especially considering the fact the HIQA gave notice of its inspection beforehand.
“Yet again this boils down to a resource issue, the losers here are the most vulnerable people that struggle to have their voices heard. The HSE budget has been slashed repeatedly in recent years, which has sucked resources out of the health system. The practice by the Minister for Health of putting forward unrealistic budget estimates has added to the considerable strain on a health system that is buckling under sustained pressure.
“I find it even more shocking that these glaring deficiencies in basic hygiene have occurred on the doorstep of the Minster for Disabilities, Kathleen Lynch. If the extremely poor hygiene practices are prevalent in Cork, I shudder to think of what is happening at other HSE facilities.
“For that reason, I am calling for a review of the hygiene facilities at all HSE care centres throughout the country so we can ascertain if these practice are widespread.
“If there is a private cleaning contract at the Grove House Centre, have the staff involved been sanctioned? There can be no compromise when it comes to something as fundamentally important as basic hygiene and infection control.”