Investigation into fall and death of Castlerea patient

An investigation is being carried out into the serious fall of a Ballintubber woman in a Castlerea nursing home and her subsequent death.

  Documents released by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) show that the resident sustained a serious injury to her head following a fall in Áras Mhathair Phóil, Knockroe, in the west Roscommon town, on January 10.

  The patient died in hospital two weeks later.

  HIQA documents on the matter were redacted before being released under the Freedom of Information Act. They describe the incident that took place in the home, which is run by the Health Service Executive.

  They state that the “resident fell in the main lounge and sustained a superficial laceration to left temple at 10.50 pm on 10/01/2015”.

  They add that the resident was “sitting in the lounge unsupervised in a chair with lap belt fastened”. “Resident suffers from dementia and opened lap belt, which resulted in the fall,” the HIQA document said. 

  The resident was reviewed by WestDoc and transferred to Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, where she died on January 24.

  According to the HIQA documents, the “cause of death was unknown”.

  The HSE commissioned an investigation into the “fall and subsequent death”. Interviews with next-of-kin, staff and management were carried out, but the report on the investigation has not yet been completed.

  A HSE spokesperson said: “The HSE has policies and protocols in place to review any incident or unexpected outcome for service users. This is in line with best practice and includes input from the family and next-of-kin.

  “Currently, there is a systems analysis under way in Áras Mhathair Phóil, Knockroe, Castlerea, in line with HSE policy. The report has not yet been received from the investigation team.

  “The HSE cannot comment on any individual service user.”

   HIQA also said that they did not comment on individual cases.

  A spokesperson added: “The remit of the authority does not extend to investigating incidents, but rather the regulations require providers to investigate adverse incidents and notify the authority.”