Hiqa report finds Tipp disability centre was not managing residents' finances in 'safe and secure manner'

Hiqa report finds Tipp disability centre was not managing residents' finances in 'safe and secure manner'

Inspectors from the State's health services watchdog found that a Tipperary-based disability centre was not managing residents' finances in a “safe and secure manner.”

Damien House Services in Co Tipperary, operated by the HSE, provides full-time long term care to 12 residents.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority found that issues raised about residents' finances during a previous inspection remained unresolved.

A detailed review of all the residents' finances, completed by the provider before the latest inspection took place, identified more discrepancies, with both under and over amounts entered in accounts.

The inspectors, who visited the centre last September, asked the provider to give full details of the discrepancies and outline how they would be addressed.

The HSE reported the matter to the gardaí, as advised by the inspectors. It has also provided Hiqa with a plan for a more suitable and robust financial management system.

The latest inspection, the third to take place in a year, found that the centre was not compliant with eight regulations.

Significant issues remained to be addressed at the centre, including the lack of consistent and stable management, resident quality of life and compatibility issues.

Fire safety management shortcomings were also identified. During one fire drill, it took 20 minutes to evacuate residents.

The inspectors found there was a high ratio of staff in all of the houses, with full nursing care provided. Residents' primary care needs were met and they appeared well cared for.

However, some residents did not interact with staff and the inspectors found that they did not engage in any meaningful activity for long periods.

In another HSE-run disability centre in Sligo inspectors found that disrespectful language was used towards residents. One resident felt that they were “treated like a baby”.

Rosenheim Services, a centre based outside a town in Co Sligo, had 19 residents when inspectors made an unannounced visit last October.

Some residents told the inspectors that they were unhappy with their meal choice and were not allowed treats.

Inspectors noticed that two residents did not appear to take part in a meaningful day programme and spent their time knitting in their bedroom and watching television.

In some parts of the centre, there was not enough staff and there was a large reliance on agency staff.

The inspectors found that the person in charge did not show that there were effective systems in place to ensure a level of oversight to ensure that residents received quality and safe service at all times.

While staff had received training in safeguarding, concerns raised by residents about denial of food choices and alleged staff behaviour had not been identified as potential safeguarding concerns.

There was also disrespectful language used in some care notes with regards to residents' intimate care management and this had not been addressed by the person in charge.

Residents's rights to privacy were not maintained in some parts of the centre.

The centre that failed to comply with nine regulations has outlined to Hiqa the steps to be taken to deal with the issues raised, including a staffing review.

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