Hiqa issues 20 reports on facilities for disabled

A number of facilities for people with disabilities, run by the Daughters of Charity, have been criticised by the health watchdog, with a report into one centre stating that some residents remained at risk of experiencing abusive situations in their home, particularly of a psychological and emotional nature.

The findings were among 20 inspection reports issued by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) into residential services for people with disabilities.

Inspectors were told at another Daughters of Charity centre that “funds were not available to complete all of the required fire safety improvement works” there or ensure that the proposed transfer of a resident would proceed as planned.

Many of the reports found the centres were operating well and in broad compliance with required standards, including at a number of those operated by the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services.

However, problems were highlighted at some centres, including at the Ashington Group Community Residential Service in Dublin 7, home to 10 residents.

The report states that “a high number of the required actions were not achieved and therefore, there continued to be a high level of regulatory non-compliance across all outcomes inspected.

“Critically, the centre’s premises was also found to be inappropriate to residents’ assessed needs and thus in major non-compliance.

“This was observed to negatively impact on residents’ day-to-day lives with restrictive measures subsequently utilised by the provider as interim solutions.”

Referring to ineffective management systems, the inspector also said that the centre had established safeguarding systems for residents and that there had been slight improvement since the previous inspection in February 2017.

“However, some residents remained at risk of experiencing abusive situations in their home, particularly of a psychological and emotional nature,” states the report.

“This distressing situation was observed to continue to impact negatively on residents’ health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Residents endorsed this observation to the inspector.

“Additionally, the current safeguarding issues and adverse environment had contributed to another resident now temporarily residing in another of the service’s centres.”

A separate report into another Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services centre, Group E at St Anne’s Residential Services in Tipperary, found some improvements since earlier inspections after which Hiqa had proposed to cancel registration of the centre.

However, while there had been progress regarding fire safety and transfer of residents to more suitable accommodation where required, “a representative of the provider outlined that the funds were not available to complete all of the required fire safety improvement works or to ensure that the transfer would proceed as planned”.

Elsewhere, at the Group G, St Vincent’s Residential Services in Limerick, Hiqa said “the provider has to date failed to submit a funded, costed, and time-bound plan to Hiqa to satisfactorily address the identified key failings”.

At another Limerick centre, Group D at St Vincent’s Residential Services, inspectors said that “key failings remained largely unchanged since the previous inspection”.

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