Serious failings uncovered by inspectors at two residential care centres

Serious failings uncovered by inspectors at two residential care centres

The Irish Examiner previously revealed that a facility operated by the group in Wexford had left residents living in rooms infested with cat faeces and rotting food. File photo

Two residential care centres were threatened with losing their registration after serious failures to improve health and safety were identified in inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

The centres are operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCoI). The Irish Examiner previously revealed that a facility operated by the group in Wexford had left residents living in rooms infested with cat faeces and rotting food.

That facility’s registration was cancelled on July 3 and the HSE took over following allegations at the facility including institutional abuse, neglect of residents and sexual abuse.

Hiqa published 27 inspection reports today on designated centres for people with disabilities. Inspectors identified non-compliance with the regulations and standards on 15 inspections.

Inspectors found continued high levels of non-compliance with the regulations across a number of centres operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCoI).

The Chief Inspector issued a notice of a proposed decision to refuse the registration of two of the centres “given the seriousness of these findings, and the failure of the provider to demonstrate an ability to take action to improve the safety and quality of service for residents.” However, CCoI has expressed sincere regret for the regulatory issues it experienced at two of its centres.

It said that considerable progress has been made at the two centres, Ballymoney, Co. Wexford, and Kyle, Co. Kilkenny, reported upon by Hiqa today.

Camphill said that it is pleased with the positive reports on high levels of compliance at Ballybay, Co. Monaghan and Grangebeg, Co. Kildare.

Camphill’s Interim CEO, Louise Gorman, said that the Hiqa reports are based on inspections carried out last spring and the regulator carried out inspections in Ballymoney and Kyle in recent weeks and approved both centres for registration purposes, albeit with conditions attaching.

“Camphill sincerely regrets the regulatory challenges that we experienced at two of our centres and the impact that these had on our residents and their families. The staff and management of Camphill — locally and nationally — put in a huge effort to tackle the issues highlighted by Hiqa and to achieve compliance since Hiqa carried out its inspections last February and March," she said.

“Last month Hiqa carried out detailed inspections at both Ballymoney and Kyle and found that very significant improvements have taken place at both centres. As a result, they have now moved to re-register the two centres with a condition attached that they must be fully compliant with the regulations by January 2022.” 

Non-compliance at other centres

Hiqa inspectors also identified non-compliance with regulations and standards in eight centres operated by the Daughters of Charity.

Improvements were required in areas such as governance and management, staff training, personal planning, risk management and residents' rights.

Non-compliance was further identified at three other centres operated by KARE Promoting Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Enable Ireland Disability Services and Autism Initiatives Ireland. These centres were required to improve areas such as governance and management, positive behavioural support, residents' rights and fire safety.

Good level of compliance

However, inspectors also found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 12 centres operated by a number of providers including; Ability West, Daughters of Charity, COPE Foundation, Cheeverstown House, GALRO, Health Service Executive and MMC Children’s Services.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included a centre operated by the COPE Foundation in Cork where one resident experienced positive benefits to their daily life since recently moving from a congregated setting.

And in a centre in Dublin operated by Cheeverstown House, residents were supported to keep in regular contact with their family and friends through the use of personal electronic devices.

A centre in Mullingar, operated by GALRO, supported residents to learn new skills and gain confidence in activities such as shopping in their local community which was also observed as an example of good practice.

All the reports are available to view at Hiqa's website.

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