Singapore

MOH extends nursing home's licence after improvements

Good Shepherd Loft's licence renewed to next August after making improvements

A nursing home that faced the threat of closure a year ago has continually improved and recently had its licence renewed till next August, the Ministry of Health (MOH) told The Straits Times.

In November last year, it was reported that nursing aides at Good Shepherd Loft were found to be giving insulin injections and medicine intravenously to some residents during inspections at the start of the year. Injections may be given only by a nurse registered with the Singapore Nursing Board, and nursing aides are not qualified nurses under the Nurses and Midwives Act.

The ministry said then it was "gravely concerned" with the home's "persistent unsafe practice" and that its licence would be shortened to Nov 28 last year.

Dr Belinda Wee, co-founder of the nursing home, said then that nursing aides had stopped giving insulin injections in late March and had stopped administering intravenous injections after Sept 6 that year.

She said the intravenous injections discovered during the inspection were given over five days to relieve the symptoms of a patient with a chest infection.

Dr Wee said a doctor gave the first three doses of the course, with registered nurses later giving some injections during the day.

APPEAL

Last November, after an appeal and a surprise inspection by MOH, the ministry extended the home's licence by three months, and then in February this year, by another six months.

In September, MOH renewed Good Shepherd Loft's licence for another year, "as its last inspection prior to renewal showed that Good Shepherd Loft has begun to demonstrate sustained efforts to comply with the nursing home licensing requirements over the past year to improve its care to its residents", a ministry spokesman told ST.

She added that Good Shepherd Loft has reviewed its standard operating procedures and improved staff training to ensure that its staff are familiar with their tasks and able to carry them out appropriately.

The spokesman added: "Independent auditors from other nursing homes, who conducted peer audits on Good Shepherd Loft, also affirmed an improvement in its standards of care to provide safe care for the residents."

Dr Wee said she was happy with the ministry's decision.

MEDICAL & HEALTH