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Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
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Ombudsman: problems in nursing homes and social care centres are associated with lack of funding

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUProblems in nursing homes and social care centres are largely associated with lack of funding, because it is not possible to perform high-quality work using currently available resources. This is the responsibility of ministries and the government, as ombudsman Juris Jansons mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

This is also true for Rauda nursing home, where the ombudsman had recently reported violations. The manager of the institution is not able to get by with available funding. Because of that, there are too many open vacancies and turnover of employees is very high.

Jansons believes the main problem is that clients of aforementioned centres are not treated with respect. Often the reason for this is the lack of employees and the lack of knowledge among existing employees – most of the time employees do this kind of work because they have «no alternatives».

During multiple visits to Rauda nursing home, representatives of the ombudsman’s office had noted a number of violations of established acts and even human rights.

The report on the case revolving around Rauda nursing home mentions that workers of the Ombudsman’s office visited the nursing home four times – 13 May 2016, 20 May 2016, 18 January 2017 and 6 June 2017.

After surveying living conditions, representatives of the ombudsman’s office concluded that approximately half of the rooms provided to clients are smaller than what is required by Cabinet of Ministers regulations. This is because of existing nursing home construction standards, which allow rooms with two beds to have an area of 11.8 m2. The report also mentions that administration of the nursing home believes increasing room size would result in a reduced number of clients, which would inevitably lead to the institution’s insolvency or increased prices. Because of that, it is not possible to provide living conditions compliant with regulations to all clients.

According to representatives of the ombudsman’s office, non-compliance with those requirements can be considered a violation of regulations and human rights. It is unacceptable for this problem to remain unresolved.

During a repeated visit, representatives noticed that basic hygiene appliances (soap and toilet paper) were not available to some clients of the nursing home. It is also mentioned that there was a clear smell of cigarettes in the centre, which means rooms are not aired appropriately.

It should also be mentioned that, considering the total number of clients (362), the institution failed to secure a sufficient number of employees, as well as compliance with regulations.

Individual clothes and bedding was provided only to select sets. According to the ombudsman, the system in place is not well-organized.

At the same time, it was noticed that clients of ‘closed wards’ were given no activities to participate in. Representatives of the ombudsman’s office could not confirm if clients with motor function problems were provided with daily fresh-air walks and support from personnel during said walks.

During the multiple repeated visits to the nursing home representatives of the office concluded that their recommendations were not realized in full.

Dace Dandoha, director of Rauda nursing home, admits that the ombudsman’s report is far from complementing. Still, she claims that improvements are added all the time. This, she claims, applies to improvement of welfare services and raising competence of the nursing home’s workers.

The funding provided by Engure County administration is sufficient to provide pensioners with the necessary hygiene appliances. Responsibility for not using them should be taken by employees, says Randoha. Consultations and training were performed with employees after similar situations. Management also evaluates if employees even fit their posts. Some employees refuse to perform their duties.

«Wages are close to minimal,» admits Randoha, adding that turnover of employees is high and so is the number of vacancies.

Rauda nursing home has 170 employees. It has 320 beds, 316 of which are filled.


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