Disability services publication statement 9 July 2024

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 27 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 27 inspections, inspectors found a generally good level of compliance with the regulations and standards in 19 centres operated by a number of providers including: Ability West; Avista CLG; Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG; Carriglea Cáirde Services; Dundas Unlimited Company; Health Service Executive (HSE) and Resilience Healthcare Limited.

Examples of good practice observed by inspectors included: 

  • Residents at a centre in Galway operated by Ability West were planning their summer holidays and told inspectors that they were looking forward to renting a cottage together for their holidays like they did last year. Additionally the provider had completed a number of upgrade and refurbishment works, which had greatly enhanced the overall appearance of the centre. For example new carpets, furnishings and planned works to the garden were underway in consultation with the residents.
  • At a centre operated by Avista CLG in Dublin, residents were supported to take part in a wide range of activities, including attending day services, local beauticians, celebrating milestones and going on holiday. Some residents enjoyed going out for coffee and meals and meeting up with friends.
  • At a HSE-operated centre in Sligo, residents’ views and choices were included in the day-to-day operation of the centre. For example, one resident decided that she would like to attend bingo weekly and the provider facilitated this by making an extra member of staff available to support the resident.

Non-compliances that impacted on the delivery of care and support to residents were identified in eight other centres. 

Poor governance was identified at two centres operated by the HSE. Residents’ needs were not being met at both centres, with improvements needed in safeguarding plans, fire safety and premises. Since that inspection, residents in one of the centres have now moved to a new centre which better meets their needs and is a more homely environment.

Poor governance was identified at two centres operated by Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG. Improvements were needed in managing risks, premises and staff training to meet residents’ needs. Inspectors found limited provider oversight in these centres and an inconsistent approach to auditing and following up on required improvements in the centres. 

Poor management of medications posed a risk to residents at a centre operated by Muiríosa Foundation. A centre operated by Camphill Communities of Ireland required improvements in managing safeguarding incidents, staffing and the premises to ensure residents’ needs were being met.

At a centre operated by Inspire Wellbeing CLG, improvements were needed in staffing and the premises to meet residents’ needs. For example, there were high numbers of staff vacancies in this centre which impacted on the residents’ quality of life. Additionally, the premises were not laid out to provide appropriate levels of private accommodation and there were limited cooking facilities for the residents.   

Finally, residents’ personal plans required improvement at a centre operated by Avista CLG. 

Read all the reports at www.hiqa.ie.