Saturday 10 December 2016

Care centre used disabled man's own money to buy cutlery and furnishings

Published 25/02/2016 | 02:30

Inspectors who visited the St John of God campus in Broomfield, in Louth, in early September, said the finding was among a series of failures uncovered at the centre where 22 men were cared for.
Inspectors who visited the St John of God campus in Broomfield, in Louth, in early September, said the finding was among a series of failures uncovered at the centre where 22 men were cared for.

An intellectually disabled man, with no next-of-kin, had some of his money used to buy items such as cutlery, soft furnishings and a fireplace in the centre where he was resident, a new report has revealed.

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Inspectors who visited the St John of God campus in Broomfield, in Louth, in early September, said the finding was among a series of failures uncovered at the centre where 22 men were cared for.

The use of the man's funds led to a review and the money was repaid to his account, the Health Information and Quality (Hiqa) reported.

The centre, located on a campus of five houses, had safeguarding measures in place but they were not adequate to protect residents from being harmed or suffering abuse.

They were not enough to control the risks associated with a high number of incidents of violence and aggression in the houses, which were only registered for 19 residents.

Incidents which were reported included physical assault, intimidation and threats, unexplained bruising, falls, slips, trips and residents absconding.

The response was often too restrictive and "last resort" measures were too readily called on when alternatives should have been tried out first.

Missing

Although there were five incidents where residents absconded, a missing person drill had not been carried out.

Inspectors expressed particular concern about the free access from the adult centre to an adjoining service, providing respite for children, through an interconnecting unlocked door.

Some of the routines were described as rigid, and in preparation for a lunch, inspectors saw residents provided with plastic aprons to wear while eating their meal.

The communal environment, where up to nine residents were accommodated, was noisy and sometimes disruptive.

In one house, the lunch was served, completed and cleared away in a 20-minute time frame.

One resident was assisted by a member of staff to complete their meal at lunchtime, followed by a drink, within six minutes.

Hiqa said that managers were given an action plan which they must now comply with.

A separate inspection of a Brothers of Charity-run centre for people with disabilities in Limerick was critical of a lack of staff.

A total of 16 medication errors were recorded since a previous inspection.

They included failure to dispense prescribed medication, while double the prescribed strength of one medicine was given to one resident twice.

Staff struggled at times to understand and communicate effectively with some residents.

The person in charge informed inspectors that assistive technology was not yet available to residents.

Inspectors were not satisfied that all staff had the required skills and knowledge.

A review of the night-time evacuation drills found residents had failed to respond, or did so slowly, resulting in it taking up to six minutes to clear the building.

Irish Independent

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