Disability services publication statement 11 February 2020

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 19 centres, including in centres operated by Praxis Care; Redwood Extended Care Facility; Redwood Neurobehavioral Services; RehabCare; St Patrick’s Centre (Kilkenny); St Catherine’s Association; St Hilda’s Services; St John of God Community Services; St Michael’s House; Sunbeam House Services; and Western Care Association. At the time of inspection, the provider was ensuring a good standard of support and care that met residents’ needs in these 19 centres.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • residents in a Saint Patrick’s Centre (Kilkenny) had electronic tablets which were used to record their participation in activities. These devices were also used to encourage residents to communicate in their preferred manner, and to encourage sensory play through the use of applications.
  • a multi-sensory environment was used to support communication with residents in a centre operated by Western Care Association. For example, specific types of music was played to indicate the general time of day for residents, such as morning, afternoon and evening and different aromas indicated different days of the week, for example cinnamon for Saturday.
  • in a St Catherine’s Association centre, the colour scheme throughout the centre used calming and muted tones and colours and was informed by the sensory and autism needs of the children who lived there. The inspector observed sensory equipment and aids, for example an indoor hammock, physiotherapy balls and sensory aids for children which further helped to create a calm environment.

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

Inspectors identified areas of non-compliance in three St John of God Community Services centres. Two centres were required to strengthen governance and management and improve systems to ensure residents’ rights were upheld. In these centres, the provider failed to ensure that the delivery of services were appropriate to residents' needs.

In another St John of God Community Services centre, safeguarding plans were not adequately protecting residents against the risk of all forms of abuse.

An inspection of a Cheshire Foundation centre found that significant improvements were required to ensure residents were fully supported and in receipt of a safe and quality service which promoted their rights. The registered provider had not ensured that each resident was safe and protected, and participated in decisions about their care and support, in accordance with their wishes.  

A centre operated by Stewarts Care was found to have inadequate staffing arrangements in place, with the provider reliant on utilising resources from other centres on the campus in order to operate. The lack of staffing resources had a negative impact on residents' experiences.

During an inspection of a Sunbeam House centre, HIQA found that the centre was not adequately resourced to ensure the effective delivery of care and support in line with residents’ assessed needs.

Inspectors found that a centre operated by RK Respite Services required review to ensure appropriate lines of accountability. There was no formal supervision or performance management of staff being completed in the centre.

An inspection of a centre operated by S O S Kilkenny found that improvements continued to be required to address oversight of the care and support delivered to residents, including the level of staffing in the centre.


Read all reports at www.hiqa.ie.