Hiqa closes unsafe centre for people with disabilities

A centre for people with disabilities, which has since been forced to close, was found by inspectors to be “not safe”, with multiple breaches of standards.

The inspection of the designated centre for people with disabilities, operated by St John of God Community Services Ltd in Louth, found an absence of consistent healthcare being provided to residents; insufficient staffing; an absence of staff supervision; and concerns over the appropriate management of risk for residents at the centre.

In all, 30 breaches of regulation were identified during the inspection, carried out by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), 17 of which are the responsibility of the registered provider and 13 of which were the responsibility of the person in charge.

The inspection report outlines how the chief inspector issued a notice of proposal to cancel the registration of the designated centre, with the provider committing to the closure of the centre. This took place last December.

It was one of seven inspection reports published by Hiqa yesterday regarding centres for people with a disability, with both non-compliance and aspects of good practice highlighted.

At a designated centre for people with disabilities operated by Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services Ltd in Tipperary, “there was no identifiable person in charge of the centre on the day of the inspection”.

“Gaps in relation to the supervision of the centre had also been identified at an inspection as far back as December 2014 and, following that inspection, the authority had received assurances in writing from the provider that there would be an identifiable person in charge of the designated centre at all times. Inspectors found that this was not the case on the day of this inspection. The provider was required to take immediate action to address this matter.”

Other issues included a problem with the weighing scales and more than half of staff not having received training in relation to the identification and management of feeding, eating, drinking, and swallowing disorders in children and adults with an intellectual disability and dysphagia.

A separate report into a designated centre for people with disabilities operated by Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services Ltd in Tipperary followed up a finding from a previous review on how one resident had purchased a number of items, including a television, a leather couch, and garden furniture that were used by all residents in the house.

The person in charge said the resident had been reimbursed for the cost of these items but that other residents who had been charged for the purchase of items that the service was to provide had not yet been repaid.

The inspection last June had found that one resident was overcharged for residential care, although there were records to show this resident had been repaid the amount in full.

See the full reports at www.hiqa.ie 

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