Disability services publication statement 19 November 2020

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 22 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 22 inspections, inspectors found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 14 centres, including in centres operated by Ability West; Brothers of Charity Services Ireland; ChildVision Company Limited; 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 14 centres. 

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • Residents in an Ability West Centre were found to be well supported to achieve their personal goals and to participate in their local community. For example, residents were members of local community groups to help people to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle and staff were supporting residents with visual impairments to safely access and enjoy community amenities. 
  • In a Daughters of Charity centre, residents were supported to develop and maintain personal relationships and links with the wider community. For example, dog therapy was being pursued for one resident who had a particular fondness for animals. This resident had also ‘adopted’ a donkey via a donkey sanctuary and had a certificate to show this. 
  • In a Childvision centre, residents were being supported to maintain and build on life skills in order to maintain and promote their independence. For example, they were learning and developing skills to travel independently and manage their own finances.

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

Inspectors found non-compliance with the regulations and standards in two centres operated by the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services, including issues related to training and staff development, governance and management and premises. For example, in one centre, areas of the premises were found to be unclean, including parts of the centre’s stairs, doors and walls. There were also areas of damp and what appeared to be black mould in a number of bathrooms.

Inspectors found non-compliance in three Brothers of Charity Services centres. Issues identified included a lack of assurances on effective evacuation plans in the event of an emergency and a failure to ensure residents’ homes were being properly maintained. Furthermore, inspectors found that some of the buildings were in a poor state of repair.  

An inspection of a centre operated by Cheeverstown House found that the provider was failing to provide effective oversight of the care for residents in relation to their behaviour support needs.

In an Autism Initiatives Ireland centre, inspectors identified that while restrictive practices in use were regularly reviewed, improvement was required to ensure that these restrictive interventions were implemented with the informed consent of residents and that they were applied in accordance with national policy and evidence-based practice. 

An inspection of a centre operated by the COPE Foundation found that improvements were needed regarding residents’ privacy and dignity. One resident continued to share their bedroom on an ongoing basis without any evidence that the resident was in agreement with the arrangement.

Read all reports at www.hiqa.ie. 

  • Reports published 19 November 2020