Disability services publication statement 7 February 2024

Date of publication:
  • Reports published 7 February 2024


Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 17 inspection reports on thematic inspections of restrictive practices in 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. 

HIQA’s programme of thematic inspections of restrictive practices in designated centres for people with disabilities focuses on assessing physical and environmental restraints as well as other forms of restrictive practices, and aims to promote quality improvement across services. 

All 17 centres were found to be either compliant or substantially compliant with the regulations and standards, and good practice was identified in many centres ensuring residents’ rights were promoted, their privacy and dignity were respected and their care was person centred. The centres are operated by: Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG; ChildVision CLG; Delta Centre CLG; Embrace Community Services Ltd; Health Service Executive (HSE); Nua Healthcare Services Limited; Peter Bradley Foundation CLG; Praxis Care; Resilience Healthcare Limited; St John of God Community Services CLG and St Michael's House.

Examples of good practice included:

  • In a centre in Wexford operated by Praxis Care, residents were supported to freely access their home and possessions. The provider ensured that the least restrictive practices were in place and did not negatively impact on residents’ privacy and dignity. Staff described how residents were involved in the decision-making process in relation to the use of restrictive practices.
  • At a centre operated by Embrace Community Services Ltd in Meath, staff received training in the management of behaviours of concern including de-escalation intervention techniques and a module about the use of restrictive practices. Staff had training in positive behaviour supports which guided supports for residents at times of distress. The person in charge and some staff had also received additional training in the area of human rights. 
  • In a centre operated by St Michael's House in Dublin, there were clear policies and procedures on the use of restrictive practices. These policies promoted an environment which used minimal and proportionate restrictive practices to keep residents safe in their homes.
  • At a centre operated by Delta Centre CLG in Carlow, restrictive practices were reviewed by a committee which included the Chief Executive Officer, the residential manager, the behaviour support team, and the person in charge. The committee’s aim was to “assist in development, review and oversight of organisational policy around human rights, behaviours that challenge and restrictive practices”.