Disability services publication statement 3 August 2022

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 32 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 32 inspections, inspectors found a generally good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 12 centres operated by a number of providers including; Ability West, Autism Initiatives Ireland CLG, Avista CLG, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, Health Service Executive (HSE), and L'Arche Ireland.
Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • At a centre in Galway operated by Ability West, residents appeared comfortable and relaxed in their home, and were actively involved in their local community. Residents spoke about how they enjoyed being independent, but could get staff help if they needed it. Residents also spoke about music concerts they had attended, as well as family celebrations and sporting events, with one resident proudly showing the inspector a framed photograph of themselves with a national hurling celebrity.
  • At a centre in Sligo operated by the HSE, staff supported residents to participate in a range of activities in their local areas such as weekly horse-riding sessions and sensory classes. Residents appeared relaxed and comfortable at the centre, and enjoyed listening to music or having their hair and nails done.
  • At a centre operated by Avista CLG in Tipperary, residents who were non-verbal communicated their happiness with the care they received and made choices about how they spent their day through facial gestures and other preferred means of communication. Residents who spoke with the inspector expressed their satisfaction with the care received, and explained how having their own private space and being able to attend upcoming events was important to them. 

Inspectors identified non-compliance with the regulations and standards on 20 inspections.

Following a previous inspection at a centre operated by Kingsriver Community Holdings CLG, the Chief Inspector of Social Services issued a notice of proposed decision to cancel the centre’s registration due to an absence of safe, quality services. The provider made representation to the Chief Inspector, as is its right under the Health Act 2007, as amended, and set out the actions it was taking to improve the quality of service to residents. The report published today found that while there continued to be non-compliances in areas such as staff training, management of residents’ finances and overall oversight in the centre, the provider was implementing its actions and was improving the quality of service for residents. A further inspection has taken place to follow up on progress, and the report will be published in due course. 

Of the 11 inspection reports published for HSE centres, eight centres had non-compliances in areas such as failure to uphold residents’ rights, failure to protect residents from the impact of peer-to-peer altercations, failure to implement safeguarding policies effectively and failure of the provider’s own audits to improve the quality of support for residents. In particular, one centre had significant non-compliances with the management of safeguarding issues.  

Non-compliance was identified in two centres operated by Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, including residents’ rights, positive behaviour support, staffing and fire precautions.  

Improvements were required at a centre operated by Avista CLG to address fire safety, insufficient staffing, handling of complaints, and management of residents’ finances. The condition of the premises and buildings at another centre operated by Avista CLG also required improvement.

In two centres operated by the COPE Foundation, improvements were required in the arrangements for fire safety and infection control. The provider was required to take urgent action in relation to fire precautions in one centre.  

Insufficient staffing, which impacted on the care residents received, was identified in a centre operated by CoAction West Cork and in a centre operated by Autism Initiatives Ireland CLG. Finally, fire safety measures and residents’ care plans were found to be non-compliant at a centre operated by ChildVision CLG and non-compliance with fire precautions was identified at a centre operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland.

  • Reports published 3 August 2022