Hiqa: Issues at care centres persist

Inspections have found shortcomings at some residential centres for people with disabilities, including a failure to notify the chief inspector of an allegation of staff misconduct.

Health watchdog the Health Information and Quality (Hiqa) published 18 new inspection reports and while most were operating to a very high standard, some issues persisted in some centres.

At the Moorehaven Centre, Tipperary, run by the MooreHaven Centre (Tipperary) Designated Activity Company, Hiqa found high levels of compliance with standards, but also outlined improvements that were required at the facility, which had 18 residents at the time of the Hiqa visit.

According to the report: “The office of the chief inspector was notified prior to the inspection of an allegation of abuse and the person in charge stated the safeguarding arrangements in place to protect residents; however, these arrangements were not documented. Prior to the conclusion of the inspection the person in charge had a documented safeguarding plan in place.”

It also noted that “The inspector observed that medications were not administered as prescribed to one resident.

"The prescription sheet held in the centre indicated that two separate doses of medication should have been dispensed for a resident; however, only one of these medications was available for the resident on the day of inspection.

"The prescription also indicated that a resident should be getting their medication at night time; however, the resident was receiving this medication in the morning.”

It also reported an issue regarding notifiying the chief inspector of allegations of staff misconduct, despite some improvements in this regard.

“The person in charge maintained a record of notifications which were submitted to the chief inspector. However, the chief inspector had not been notified of a recent allegation of staff misconduct within the required timeline.

"This was brought to the attention of the person in charge who submitted the required notification prior to the completion of the inspection.”

At Cullen House in Kildare, operated by Nua Healthcare Services Unlimited Company and home to three residents, inspectors found that while the current residents’ needs were being met, “they were not assured that this would remain if the occupancy of the centre was to increase from three to four residents.

"This was primarily due to insufficient communal space and the supports the residents currently residing in the centre required.”

As for a major non-compliance at the centre, according to the report: “A review of records demonstrated that not all incidents as required by Regulation 31 were notified to Hiqa. Notifications not reported to Hiqa included an injury to a resident requiring medical attention and an allegation or suspicion of abuse.”

At a Maynooth centre operated by Gheel Autism Services Company Limited, the inspection was sparked by safeguarding concerns in one unit.

On checking the inspector found that the provider had taken responsive and timely action to the concerns raised but also found that some additional safeguarding measures had not been implemented and “was not assured that appropriate staffing levels were available in the centre in order to meet residents’ assessed needs”.


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