Disability services publication statement 4 November 2020

Date of publication:

Today the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 23 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 23 inspections, inspectors found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 17 centres, including in centres operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and St John of God Community Services. At the time of inspection, the provider was ensuring a good standard of support and care that met residents’ needs in these 17 centres. 

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • In a St John of God Community Services centre, residents’ interests had been reviewed and updated to include activities, such as using the local bank and pharmacy, joining the local sports club, and visiting local shops, pubs and cafes. 
  • A HSE centre had been adapted to support residents who required assistance with mobility; doorways and corridors were wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users. The centre was modern, comfortably furnished and it had a pleasant, homely feel.
  • A centre operated under Section 64 of the Health Act by the HSE (following the cancellation of the previous provider’s registration) was found to be a well managed centre and as a result this was bringing about positive outcomes for the residents. 

Inspectors found non-compliance with the regulations and standards in six centres. 

Inspectors found non-compliance in two St John of God Community Service centres. In one centre, a risk-based inspection was carried out following receipt of information of concern in relation to the safety and quality of life for residents. Inspectors found that the provider’s capacity to effectively implement public health guidance in infection control was restricted in one of the houses in the centre, which was of particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspectors found that living conditions in that house had deteriorated further since the previous inspection and residents were living in very poor conditions. Following the inspection, inspectors made a referral to the National Safeguarding Office in relation to this. The provider was also informed that consideration would be given to cancelling the registration unless immediate action was taken to improve the residents’ home. A follow-up inspection in August 2020 found that the provider had implemented the improvements and the report for this inspection will be published in due course. 

In another centre operated by this provider, inspectors found the arrangements to evacuate the residents at night time when there was only one staff on duty required review.

Inspectors found non-compliance with the regulations and standards in five HSE centres, including issues relating to governance and management, staffing and premises. In two of these centres, inspectors also found that institutional practices were negatively impacting on residents’ rights. For example, residents’ meals were prepared in a centralised facility on the grounds of the campus and were delivered at specific times which meant that mealtimes were fixed and were not in response to the preferences or wishes of residents. Some positive behavioural support plans did not provide adequate guidance on how best to support residents to manage specific behaviours, which impacted adversely on residents’ overall safety and wellbeing. 

Read all reports at www.hiqa.ie. 

  • Reports published 4 November 2020