It has been reported in the Spanish press that the Association of Residences of the Valencian Community (ReCoVa) has denounced “the lack of staff and care, poor nutrition and the violation of fundamental rights” in the Domus VI Aljub and Altabix centres, in Elche, and in Savia Villamartín, Orihuela Costa, and has demanded that the Consell inspect and sanction the “chaos” in these nursing homes.

ReCoVa has said that the home in Villamartin, Orihuela Costa, which accommodates a mix of up to 120 health service and private patients, currently has more than half of the staff on holiday with the remainder “saturated, working at their limit, and unable to cope.”

The lack of health professionals means that residents “are not receiving the minimally decent care to which they are entitled”, they state. “We cannot tolerate that they do not have basic hygiene: changing diapers, cutting nails, shaving, hygiene and feeding,” they add.

Among the many complaints, the lack of nursing staff stands out, which leads to uncovered time slots, usually the night shift.”  If there is no available nurse the medication is administered by an assistant, which is prohibited by the Law on the Regulation of Health Professions.

This lack of health staff has the consequences that the necessary postural changes are not made to prevent the generation of ulcers and other types of skin lesions caused by staying in bed, they also say that when they do occur, they are not treated properly, “infections and sepsis are recurrent. Another serious consequence is the lack of attention to patients who, as ReCoVa states, “have spent prolonged periods on the ground after a fall.”

Another critical aspect is the lack of hygiene, “there are infestations of rats, cockroaches and ants. There are rats not only in the kitchen but also in the residents’ rooms. Residents have been bitten and there are elderly people who have woken up with cockroaches on their faces. The association denounces that in addition, there is not a large enough stock of urine bags or oxygen masks, meaning that they are often reused, sometimes for many days.

Attention to the individual needs of patients is also called into question in ReCoVa’s public complaint, which states that the centre “has run out of the medications needed for some of the elderly because the prescriptions have expired without being dispensed, so that they are not being treated for their illnesses.

Furthermore, those who have eating problems do not receive a diet according to their needs, “there is no diet for diabetics or liver patients and the easy-to-chew diet is a disaster, it is a thick mass similar to plaster.”

ReCoVa has also demanded that the management of the Savia nursing home in Villamartin be ‘urgently’ changed and that the Generalitat “inspect and sanction.”