St Joseph’s Hospital In Ennis Criticised In Fresh HIQA Report

The health watchdog has criticised St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis for failing to comply with infection control standards, as well as 11 other issues.

HIQA’s latest report is not the first time the facility has come under fire but work is currently underway on delivering a new 100-bed unit to replace the existing nursing home.


The unannounced inspection was carried out on October 9th last, on a day when 91 residents were present.

Inspectors noted 12 cases of non-compliances with HIQA standards across a number of areas, including infection control, fire precautions, staffing and the rights of residents.

Bed tables and wheelchairs were found to be unclean, while taps were noted to have layers of limescale.

Cobwebs and spiders were found in several areas, while windowsills in some areas had dead flies.

In response, management stated that cleaning schedule has been revised, while an environmental audit was carried out and communicated to all staff.

Almost three years ago, HIQA placed a ban on admission on the facility amid concerns over patient dignity and quality of life; a move which was challenged by the HSE in a landmark court case, that resulted in a settlement being struck between both sides.

Since then, a new €25 million 100-bed facility has been approved to replace St Joseph’s, which will be operational by 2021.

Following an earlier inspection report of St. Joseph’s, which highlighted non-compliance there, then Head of the HSE Midwest Bernard Gloster described the findings as “unfair.”

In response to this latest report, HSE Midwest Community Healthcare apologises for the non-compliances and says it will continue to work towards full compliance with all standards with the Staff in St Joseph’s and the Regulator.

Statement from the HSE

St. Joseph’s Hospital, is a Community Nursing Unit (CNU) in Ennis, Co. Clare and provides an essential service to the population of county. The services provided include short term, respite, rehab and continuing care beds. It is an integral part of the community with the local parish church on site and established links with local schools through intergeneration projects.

St Joseph’s is the location of choice for people to stay for short periods or to make their long term home if those needs arise.

An inspection was carried out in October 2019 by the regulatory authority HIQA, in which a number of issues were highlighted. These issues referred to in the report as a non-compliance’s relate in the main to the infrastructure and the number of residents in the multi-occupancy rooms. The existing building was built circa 1960’s, and delivering care in infrastructure of this time creates challenges in meeting compliance with current day HIQA standards. The hospital has had an internal facelift and the environment is welcoming and homely but

HIQA would like the Hospital to reduce the number of residents per multi-occupancy room.

Since October the HSE has developed and implemented an improvement plan to address the areas of non-compliance, such improvements include additional showers, and lighting.

As part of the Capital Plan 2016-2021 for Services for Older People, launched by Minister Kathleen Lynch TD in January 2016, it is planned that St Joseph’s will be rebuilt on a greenfield site near Turnpike Road in Ennis. The HSE is very much looking forward to progressing the plans for this new build.

HSE Midwest Community Healthcare apologises for the non-compliances in the report and will continue to work towards full compliance with all standards with the Staff in St Joseph’s and the Regulator.