Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Atmosphere of fear' at disability centre

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

Two residents were at the centre of the problem and were hitting, kicking and shouting at others (Stock picture)
Two residents were at the centre of the problem and were hitting, kicking and shouting at others (Stock picture)

Inspectors who made an unannounced visit to a centre for people with an intellectual disability found a "palpable atmosphere of fear".

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The team from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) visited the St Vincent's Centre in Limerick in June.

They found that some residents had to hide in their rooms and offices because they were frightened of being assaulted by other residents.

Staff were on high alert at times, the inspectors revealed.

Two residents were at the centre of the problem and were hitting, kicking and shouting at others.

The inspectors said the Daughters of Charity which provided the service had failed to act to reduce the aggression. Two residents were involved in "taunting behaviour" and were prone to "verbal outbursts".

Staff were working in a "volatile situation" which risked harming their own safety and that of other residents.

The centre is made up of two bungalows, with six residents living in each.

The inspectors said there needed to be better support services to control behaviour. The provider said a clinical nurse specialist had been hired to review how individual residents could be better managed.

Hiqa also published reports on RehabCare centres. While one centre was found to be operating in compliance with the regulations, the provider had failed to ensure staff had the required training to meet residents' needs in another centre.

A report on a campus-based centre operated by Peamount Healthcare found seven major non-compliances in the service.

The provider did not have adequate arrangements in place to oversee the running of the centre or to ensure residents' finances were protected, social care needs were met and infections risk reduced.

Irish Independent

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