Chancellor of Justice identified violations in special care homes

From 29 June to 2 July, advisors to the Chancellor of Justice visited the Erastvere Home, the Kodijärve Home and the special care centre Pariisi Erihoolduskeskus. The problems identified during inspection visits were generally similar in all three institutions. In the Erastvere Home as well as the Kodijärve Home, it appeared that the number of activity supervisors was insufficient for ensuring the safety of residents. The number of activity supervisors is important to ensure that the employees have a constant overview of the location, movement and activities of residents, both during daytime as well as at night. If the residents live in family cottages, as is the case with the Kodijärve Home, the number of activity supervisors at work should be sufficient to ensure that the residents are also not left alone in any of the family cottages during the night. The Chancellor of Justice has also given recommendations on the number of activity supervisors during her previous visits.

Secondly, as a result of inspection visits, it was revealed that insufficient access to the nursing care service exists at all three of the institutions. The Chancellor of Justice recommended that the availability of the nursing care service be ensured to the extent which conforms to the minimum requirements prescribed by law, and in such a way that nurses are given the opportunity to personally assess the condition of a resident.

There were several deficiencies in all three institutions in relation to medicinal products. The most serious concern was raised in connection with the administration of prescription medicinal products. Based on what was seen during the inspection visits, the advisors to the Chancellor of Justice had reasonable doubts that the decision concerning the administration of prescription medicinal products, which are only to be administered under certain circumstances (incl. tranquillizers) is not made by an employee with a medical education, but rather a activity supervisor.

Furthermore, during the inspection visits the advisors to the Chancellor of Justice established that there were pass-through bedrooms in both the Erastvere Home as well as Pariisi Erihoolduskeskus, and bedrooms with more than two residents living together. The situation, where the residents have to share a room with more than one co-resident, is not in compliance with legislation and without basis violates the privacy of residents. Also, the Chancellor of Justice recommended ensuring more private facilities for taking care of one’s hygiene or more intimate procedures.

On a positive note, however, the range of activities offered to the residents was what caught the eye of the advisors during their inspection visit to the Kodijärve Home. The Chancellor of Justice acknowledged the Kodijärve Home for creating an abundance of possibilities for activities, including those that are aimed at improving the ability to cope independently, and that take into account the specific nature, level of development and interests of residents.