Disability services publication statement 9 January 2020

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 25 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 25 inspections, inspectors found a good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 20 centres, including in centres operated by Ability West; Brothers of Charity Services; Co Wexford Community Workshop (Enniscorthy); 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 20 centres.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included:

  • in an Ability West centre, the provider and person in charge had introduced measures to assess, assist and support residents’ communication needs and wishes. These included the development of communication passports to guide staff, and the involvement of communication specialists. Information about residents’ rights, safeguarding, fire safety and advocacy was made available in appropriate and accessible formats.
  • in a Co Wexford Community Workshop (Enniscorthy) centre, staff told the inspector how they were making changes to the environment to support the changing needs of residents. Residents were seen to be supported by staff over the course of the day to engage in activities which they enjoyed.
  • residents in a Brothers of Charity Services centre were involved in selecting menu choices and carrying out shopping with staff support. Residents' specific dietary requirements were catered for, and where additional support was required for eating or drinking, staff were knowledgeable of any specialist recommendations, and these needs were supported appropriately.

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

Inspectors found that improvements had been made to ensure residents were safe and their needs were met in a Brothers of Charity Services centre following previous inspections. Further improvements were required to ensure risk was appropriately managed in a timely way.

In a COPE Foundation centre, staffing shortages were impacting on residents’ access to activities of their choice. The provider was also required to review management arrangements, positive behaviour supports and restrictive practices.

Inspectors identified areas of non-compliance with the regulations in three Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services centres. Areas that required improvement were governance and oversight to enable the provider to identify and address issues for themselves, the number and skill-mix of staff, access to social activities within the community, and fire containment issues. Inspectors required the provider to take actions in these centres to ensure residents were safe and receiving a good quality of care and support.

Read all reports at www.hiqa.ie.