Hiqa finds serious shortcomings at residential centre in Cork

Hiqa finds serious shortcomings at residential centre in Cork

Serious shortcomings in a residential centre operated by the COPE Foundation in Cork have been found by the State's health services watchdog.

There were 15 residents in the single-storey Cork City North 8 centre last September when the Health Information and Quality Authority conducted an unannounced inspection.

The centre provides 24-hour nursing care to men and women with a severe or profound degree of intellectual disability and who have multiple and complex healthcare needs. HIQA has refused to name the centre, saying it would be a safeguarding issue.

The inspectors found residents were not being kept safe from the risk of infection, primarily due to the “poor” level of cleanliness.

The centre was due to close by December 31 last year but the provider applied for an extension because of delays in moving residents to more suitable accommodation.

Inspectors noticed that residents spent a lot of time in their bedrooms, unsupervised and unobserved. There were inadequate storage facilities and resident's clothing was stored in other residents' bedrooms.

The provider has a plan to address the issues and inspectors continue to monitor the centre closely.

An unannounced inspection of centre operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland in Callan, Co Kilkenny, followed information received about the safeguarding of residents. There were 16 men and women with an intellectual and physical disability, autism and challenging behaviours living at the centre when the inspectors called last November.

The inspectors found that a number of “serious incidents” had not been reported to Hiqa and there were “significant risks”, including self-harm, that were not addressed, responded to or planned for adequately.

Residents were exposed to “unsafe and unacceptable” practices implemented by staff and when they became known the action taken was neither timely nor sufficient to afford sufficient protection to residents.

It was the seventh inspection of the centre which was granted registration in August last year. The centre said it now has a new management team which will introduce the changes needed to stabilise and improve the service.

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