Disability services publication statement 2 May 2023

Date of publication:
  • Reports published 2 May 2023


Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 16 inspection reports on infection control in designated centres for people with disabilities. HIQA inspects against the Health Act 2007 (Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Persons (Children and Adults with Disabilities) Regulations 2013 and the National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities, which apply to residential services for people with disabilities in Ireland. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure robust infection control measures beyond COVID-19, the Chief Inspector of Social Services commenced a programme of targeted inspections to assess registered providers’ compliance with Regulation 27: Protection against infection. The inspection programme aims to promote continuous quality improvement in infection prevention and control, in line with the National Standards for infection prevention and control in community services, (2018), as published by HIQA. 

Inspectors found a generally good level of compliance with the regulations and standards across 11 centres inspected. 
Good practice was observed by inspectors in centres operated by: Avista CLG, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, Carriglea Cáirde Services, Health Service Executive (HSE), Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company, Saint Patrick's Centre (Kilkenny)/trading as Aurora-Enriching Lives, Enriching Communities, St John of God Community Services CLG, and St Michael's House.

Examples of good practice included:

  • Clear management arrangements for the promotion of infection, prevention and control 
  • The effectiveness of infection, prevention and control measures reviewed through comprehensive auditing arrangements
  • Regular access to training to ensure staff knowledge was kept up to date
  • Comprehensive contingency plans in place which were subject to review especially after an outbreak 
  • Staff had access to current infection, prevention and control. 

However, five centres operated by Ability West, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, Camphill Communities of Ireland, St John of God Community Services CLG, and Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company were found to be non-compliant, which meant that residents were not being adequately protected from the risk of infection. These providers were required to take actions to improve their infection prevention and control arrangements. 

Examples of areas requiring improvement observed by inspectors included:

  • Improvements to arrangements for the storage of cleaning equipment such as wet mops were required
  • Improvements to the condition of premises to ensure effective cleaning and prevent the spread of infection
  • Arrangements to ensure staff compliance with current infection, prevention and control guidance especially in regards the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Improvements to arrangements for the effective and safe disposal of clinical waste.

Read all reports at the link below.