Watchdog still has concerns over disability care unit in Kildare

Health watchdog Hiqa yesterday highlighted concerns with centres in a campus for people with disabilities, and which was previously strongly criticised by the authority.

The findings are in 10 reports relating to St John of God Kildare Services, St Raphael’s Campus, published by the Health Information and Quality Authority. The campus contains seven designated centres providing residential services to 137 people with intellectual disabilities.

Previously, Hiqa was significantly concerned about the safety and quality of life for residents on the campus. It carried out a series of 10 planned inspections which found evidence of institutional practices, poor outcomes for residents, and areas of risk to residents.

Hiqa had issued warning letters and later, proposed to cancel the registration of three of the centres on the campus. The provider, however, had issued Hiqa with plans for the closure of one centre, and pledges to address resident safety and welfare elsewhere.

The new reports describe how, since then, many improvements have been made but more were needed. Inspections showed evidence of good and improving practice in some centres, and similar issues in others, such as staffing levels, institutional practices, and social care needs not being met.

In one centre in North Kildare, the report noted: “One resident was observed freely moving in and out of another resident’s bedroom and rummaging in their possessions.”

Furthermore, “a resident was observed to be dressed inappropriately before going on a social outing wearing a shoe on one foot and a sports trainer on the other foot. Staff had not taken the time to dress this resident appropriately before supporting him to go out on the bus.”

In another centre, inspectors were very concerned regarding some aspects of the management of residents’ finances:A resident was charged for basic equipment such as sliding sheets, a bed-fall sensor alarm, and another resident charged for an extension lead.

The report, relating to another centre, continued: “Inspectors tasted the cooked evening meal being served to residents and found that it was almost cold.”

And, in yet another centre, there had been 111 recorded incidents in just four months. One resident who was previously found as being at continual risk of assault “was not being appropriately protected by the provider”.

www.hiqa.ie 

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