Social Care Standards Authority says Gozo hotel is “adequate”; Issues recommendations

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The authorities have found that a Gozo hotel where elderly residing at Dar Sant’Anne at the Gozo General Hospital have been transferred, is adequate following an investigation into allegations that the hotel was not up to standard.

In a statement on Sunday, the government said that an investigation was initiated following a report in the press claiming that relatives of elderly residents were “horrified” by the conditions.

Steward Health Care, the American-giant managing the Gozo General Hospital, sought an emergency licence from the Social Care Standards Authority to transfer patients at Downtown Hotel in order to free beds for possible coronavirus patients at the Gozo General Hospital.

The main issues underlined included; rooms being too small for two patients, corridors and lift being too small, the structure of rooms, gurneys which do not fit through doors, a lack of certainty on whether wheelchairs can maneuver through lifts and rooms, and the lifter not fitting in rooms.

From its investigation, the authority found that rooms could accommodate two individuals, a wheelchair could maneuver in the corridor and rooms, the residents’ hoists are being used in the rooms when necessary, medicine is safely stored, and the health care professionals are providing the same level of care they used to give at Ward Sant’Anna.

It was also ensured that the contingency plans and necessary procedures were in place.

“The Authority confirms that the premises are adequate and in line with the requirements of an emergency license,” the statement reads.

Steward Health Care had announced that 72 elderly patients currently residing at Dar Sant’Anna would be transferred to Downtown Hotel on 17 April.

Following the investigation, the authority has issued three recommendations and said that it would conduct a follow up visit in the coming days to ensure that the issues were being addressed.

The recommendations include:

  • increasing communication through video calls between the older persons and their relatives so that such a measure can also serve to assure that the care required is being received;
  • ensuring that the service includes a structured programme of varied activities based on the identified needs of the individual; and
  • ensuring that each resident is provided with adequate storage space for personal belongings.

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