Disability services publication statement 07 November 2019

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 27 inspection reports on 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. 

Of these 27 inspections, inspectors found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 21 centres, including in centres operated by Ability West; Brothers of Charity Services Ireland; Camphill Communities of Ireland; Carriglea Cáirde Services; COPE Foundation; and Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services. At the time of inspection, the provider was ensuring a good standard of support and care that met residents’ needs in these 21 centres.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • residents in an Ability West centre were being supported to communicate in line with their needs and wishes. The provider and person in charge had introduced a number of communication techniques to ensure all residents could communicate and were understood, such as picture cards, signage and sign language, development of communication passports to guide staff, and involvement of communication specialists.
  • residents were supported to engage with activities and work of their choice in a Brothers of Charity Services Ireland centre, including taking part in an active retirement group, working in a charity shop, gardening, and playing darts and basketball.
  • residents in a COPE Foundation centre were actively encouraged and supported by staff to maintain friendships and relationships with family members. Residents were encouraged and assisted to receive visitors to the centre, including visits from friends who formerly lived in the centre 
  • residents in a Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services centre were supported to make the centre a home and they took great pride in their home. The house was personalised with lots of photos of residents past and present and items of achievement such as prizes for artwork. 

Inspectors identified non-compliance with the regulations and standards on six inspections.

In a Brothers of Charity Services Ireland centre, inspectors were not assured that the provider could ensure the effective governance, operational management and administration of the centre. For example, there were inadequate staffing levels available to respond to the needs of residents. 

Stronger governance and management arrangements were required in two Camphill Communities of Ireland centres to ensure residents were receiving a good quality and safe service. For example, in one centre staff did not have the required training to meet residents’ needs and residents were not receiving consistent staffing. 

An inspection of a centre operated by the COPE Foundation found that not all residents were supported to exercise control and choice over their living space.

Inspectors found that a campus-based Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services centre was not designed or laid out to meet the needs of all residents who lived there. Works to upgrade the premises had not been completed in line with the time frame committed to by the provider. An inspection of another centre operated by this provider found that the centre was not sufficiently resourced to deliver a safe service. Inspectors identified failings in a number of areas such as fire precautions, premises and staffing arrangements. 

All reports and compliance plans are available on www.hiqa.ie.