HIQA criticise actions in local disability centre

Noor Saleh considers a HIQA report critical of a Dublin 8 disability centre.

A disability centre in Dublin 8 run by St John of God Community Services Ltd “fails in overall governance and management systems”, according to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

HIQA’s latest report published on 11th October marks the fourth unsatisfactory inspection of the centre this year. Overall, inspectors found significant failures in the overall governance and management systems.

Inspectors found that of the 17 actions – out of a maximum of 18 – identified at the last inspection, only one had been completed to a satisfactory level. Major non-compliances were found in social-care needs, healthcare needs, safe and suitable premises, health and safety, safeguarding and medication management in the campus-based centre in south Dublin.

The centre provides care to both male and female residents with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities, some of whom have significant medical needs and challenging behaviour. Moderate non-compliances were found in residents’ rights, notification of incidents and the statement of purpose. Inspected areas of the centre were reported unclean and poorly maintained.

Centre “fails in overall governance and management systems”

Inspectors found there was little or no documentary evidence to confirm the care and support provided to residents was of an acceptable standard, implemented and regularly reviewed. Individual needs were not reflected clearly, accurately or timely in personal plans.

Healthcare plans were either not developed, did not contain the appropriate information to guide safe practice, or were not updated to reflect changes in circumstances. Fluid-intake monitoring, as part of a nutritional requirement, was not consistently recorded.

There were large numbers of agency and relief staff employed in the centre. Staff spoken to stated that the use of agency staff made it difficult to provide consistency of care to residents given their complex needs and the requirement for specific staff training to support some residents. For example, in the late morning to mid-afternoon time, five staff were on duty; however, three of these staff were supporting residents who required intensive supervision.

In addition, a staff member who appeared to be supporting a resident on the day of the inspection informed inspectors that she had not being assigned to support this resident, but was on her morning break from the other centre. Inspectors observed this staff member supporting the resident to take their eight o’clock morning medications at midday.

The purpose of this inspection was to follow up on actions from the last inspection carried out in the centre in November 2015 and in response to notifications and unsolicited information received by HIQA in relation to safeguarding.

HIQA will continue inspections and sending notices before the centre could lose registration. Actions by the authority in such cases depend on the level of complaints violated and risk to residents in the centre.

HIQA refused to give further information or comment relating to the reports and the location of the centre being inspected for the privacy of its residents. They have had many queries from the media about centres violating rules and dismissing warnings.

HIQA has, among its functions under law, responsibility to regulate the quality of service provided in designated centres for children, dependent people and people with disabilities.

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