Press Release

Minister for Health and Children publishes the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Leas Cross Nursing Home

The Commission was established by the Government in April 2007 to investigate the management, operation and supervision of the former Leas Cross Nursing Home. It commenced work in September 2007 with Mr Diarmuid O’Donovan SC as Sole Member. The Commission’s Final Report has now been submitted to the Minister.

The Report contains findings in relation to, amongst others, the owners of Leas Cross, the former Northern Area Health Board (NAHB); its replacement- the Health Service Executive (HSE)- and Beaumont Hospital. The report also deals with the handling of complaints regarding the nursing home and the transfer of patients to the nursing home from other institutions.

In publishing the report, the Minister said “I would like to express my thanks, and that of the Government, for the very valuable and thorough work undertaken by Diarmuid O’Donovan and his team in producing this Report. I fully accept the content and recommendations of the Report, which I regard as a solid basis to bring improved quality service provision in the future”.

The Minister stated “My thoughts today are first and foremost with the families affected by the events which were the subject of this investigation. I am taking this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathy to those families involved. I genuinely hope that this Report will help all the families come to terms with what happened and to take some consolation in the fact that we will use this report to ensure that no other patient or their family face problems like this again. I urge all those concerned in any way with residential care for older people to read this report to learn the lessons from it and for its value as a milestone for improved practice and standards”.

The Minister referred to the changes that have already been instigated since the Leas Cross issues first came into the public domain

“I approved new National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland earlier this year and signed new Care and Welfare Regulations on 26 June last. These new Regulations came into effect from 1 July to allow a new, independent inspection regime to begin for all nursing homes for the first time. My objective is to have an effective, robust, independent and properly resourced inspection regime for all residential services for older people. I am pleased that this work is now in the hands of the Health Information and Quality Authority

The Minister continued “I am also conscious of the findings made in relation to Beaumont Hospital and its failure to follow up on concerns regarding patients admitted to it from Leas Cross. With this in mind I have asked the HSE to ensure that a protocol is now in place in all Acute Hospitals to ensure any concerns about patients from any nursing homes are notified to the Chief Inspector of Social Services at HIQA”.

Minister Aine Brady, Minister of State for Older People also expressed her sympathy for the patients and their relatives who were affected by the failures highlighted by the Report. She said “we have made every effort to ensure that the newly approved Standards and the recently signed Regulations are now centered on the needs of the patients and residents in nursing homes. The aim of the new system we have put in place is to ensure that people who are in nursing homes have their care and welfare protected and that all efforts are made to ensure that they have a quality of life at what can be a difficult and challenging time.”

Read the Report