Disability services publication statement 10 March 2020

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 19 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 19 inspections, inspectors found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 13 centres, including centres operated by: St John of God Community Services Company; St Michael's House; Stepping Stones Residential Care Limited; Stewarts Care Limited; Sunbeam House Services Company and Western Care Association. At the time of inspection, the providers were ensuring a good standard of care and support that met residents’ needs across these 13 centres.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • residents in a St John of God Community Services centre were supported to develop and maintain personal relationships. A resident was welcome to visit the designated centre before admission and was provided with opportunities to meet and spend time with the residents already living in the designated centre.
  • residents’ assessed needs were observed to be well understood by staff in a St Michaels House centre. For example, various forms of communication techniques were used to support residents in making their needs known.  Residents were well supported with daily tasks such as receiving medication, during which staff sought assurance and consent throughout. 
  • a centre operated by Stepping Stones Residential Care Limited displayed robust supervision processes for staff, ensuring that all staff members understood identified areas of critical care and support areas for residents.
  • residents in a centre operated by Sunbeam House Services Company Limited were supported by staff to go on a recent holiday and, for a number of these residents, it was their first time on an aeroplane. The inspector found that this was an excellent example of staff supporting residents to have meaningful and positive life experiences.

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

One St John of God Community Services centre inspected was found to have a lack of staff training in place in relation to safeguarding residents and the prevention, detection and response to abuse. There were significant gaps identified in mandatory training records and 14 staff members were identified as requiring further training in managing behaviours that challenge. It was also noted that the systems in place to notify HIQA of registration notifications required further improvement. 

Inspectors found non-compliance in three Sunbeam House Services centres. Governance and management was an identified non-compliance across all three centres inspected. The provider did not demonstrate that there were adequate staffing levels and risk management procedures in place. Other non-compliances were identified in critical areas such as governance and management, and safeguarding. 

An inspection of a centre operated by The Cheshire Foundation in Ireland found that a number of improvements were required. Residents highlighted that staffing was an issue for them as there was not always the appropriate resources available for transport and access to the community. In addition, not all restrictive practices had been reported to HIQA and satisfaction of complaints were not always appropriately documented. 

An inspection of a Three Steps Limited centre identified that staffing levels at times were not always sufficient. Further review of fire evacuation procedures was required in this centre to ensure that all residents could be safely evacuated from the centre at all times.