Fire safety issues identified at disabilities centre

Hiqa has warned the operator of these centres that further improvements are needed
Fire safety issues identified at disabilities centre

An operator of centres for people with disabilities has been warned further improvements are needed after inspections detected problems with fire safety and other issues. File picture

An operator of centres for people with disabilities has been warned further improvements are needed after inspections detected problems with fire safety and other issues.

Following a series of poor inspection findings in centres operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland last year, the registered provider was required to submit a comprehensive national improvement plan to health watchdog Hiqa.

Fresh inspections of three Camphill-run facilities by the watchdog found while there had been improvements, there was still non-compliance in areas such as governance and management, fire precautions and safeguarding.

For example, at the Dunshane Camphill Communities of Ireland centre in Kildare, inspectors said they were concerned about fire safety arrangements in some parts of the facility.

While the provider had self-identified this fire safety concern as a "high risk" and had undertaken preparation regarding the required fire safety works, at the time of this inspection the identified fire safety works required had not been completed.

Hiqa said: "Following this inspection, on December 2, 2020, the provider notified the Chief Inspector that they were closing these parts of the centre pending the completion of the required fire safety works."

In this centre, and in two others operated by the same provider – Camphill Community Grangebeg, also in Kildare, and Camphill Community of Ireland Greenacres in Dublin 14 – there were non-compliances regarding the notification of incidents.

At the Grangebeg centre, there were insufficient staff levels and according to the report: "The centre was not resourced to ensure effective care and support for residents. The provider had recognised this and a quality and safety lead and administrative support had recently started in the centre. The provider had recently recruited a number of staff and was in the process of completing a roster review to identify the number of staff required to meet residents' care and support needs in the centre."

Improvements were required in the management of residents' finances, but in all three centres Hiqa noted improvements and how the majority of residents seemed happy in their surroundings.

Separate inspections at two centres operated by the Brothers of Charity Services required improvements to strengthen governance and management procedures and safeguarding arrangements. In one of the centres, inspectors also found there was mould growing in a number of rooms in one of the houses.

Another inspection, this time of a Catholic Institute for Deaf People centre found the centre was institutional and not very homely, and areas of the premises remained in a poor state of repair. Following the inspection, a decongregation plan was submitted to Hiqa by the registered provider, along with confirmation of support to implement this from the organisation's funders.

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