A series of shortcomings in resident care and management have been highlighted by inspections of a centre for adults with autism.
The most recent inspection at Crobally House in Mogeely, Co Cork, was carried out in January on an unannounced basis.
The centre’s two houses can accommodate up to seven residents, including two full-time, four respite, and one who lives there three days a week.
It is run by Cork Association for Autism, whose proposed actions in response to this and the previous inspection by Health and Information Quality Authority (Hiqa) in September 2016 were deemed unsatisfactory. Hiqa is considering further regulatory action, which might include further inspections, as a result.
The issues also prompted the organisation to be called to two meetings at the Hiqa chief inspector’s office to give reassurances on how matters would be handled.
Last September’s inspection noted that a complaint from a relative that a staff member was heard addressing or shouting at a resident inappropriately had been discussed with the worker.
It was found that the centre did not follow its own procedures for investigating an alleged incident of abuse or report it to Hiqa as required.
“The provider representative was requested to submit the appropriate notification as soon as possible, capturing how this matter was being investigated,” the inspectors wrote.
The report, published yesterday, says this has not yet been submitted.
During the September 2016 inspection, it was also found that previous concerns about the management of complaints had not been addressed satisfactorily.
One complaint about a broken bed had taken four weeks to have addressed. Another related to the cancellation at short notice of a respite service for one regular resident a number of times in the previous months, which was due to staff shortages.
Hiqa found that a resident’s placement in one of the houses was inappropriate and negatively impacted the other residents’ safety. There were no records that the suitability of the person’s placement there had been assessed, or whether the person should have their own accommodation.
Despite being raised after previous inspections, and recommendations from an external agency, one resident was kept separate from others because two of them did not get on. In January, Hiqa inspectors found that the two residents travelled in separate vehicles and one stayed in the centre while the other availed of a spacious dayroom in another building.
Also, eight staff had not attended training on the management of challenging behaviour, including de- escalation and intervention techniques.
A resident with a history of falls due to seizures had to access a shower in a different centre because one was not available at ground floor. That had been rectified, however, when Hiqa conducted its latest unannounced inspection last January, as an en-suite ground-floor bedroom was provided.
Elsewhere, the inspectors found that some bedroom doors had damaged fire seals, tiles in a bathroom were in a state of disrepair, and carpet was worn and threadbare in areas.
A previous commitment to put emergency evacuation plans in place for respite residents by the end of last November had not been fulfilled on January 4.
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