Saturday 10 December 2016

Damning report on centre for disability

John Brennan

Published 23/01/2016 | 02:30

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has today urged older patients to ask their pharmacists for help in making sure they take their medication at the right time and in the right way.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has today urged older patients to ask their pharmacists for help in making sure they take their medication at the right time and in the right way.

Health watchdog Hiqa has published a damning report on conditions at a residential centre for people with disabilities.

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St John of God's Centre in Drumcar, Co Louth, caters for 22 residents with learning disabilities and was found to have had 27 separate failings during an inspection last year.

The Hiqa inspectors found the centre had no designated person in charge for three months.

One incident highlighted in the report related to an unexplained injury suffered by one of the residents which management failed to investigate.

"Significant failings" were also found in respect of risk management, the fire management systems and the premises.

A practice of some fire doors being kept open was seen to increase the risk of a potential fire spreading throughout the whole premises.

The centre subsequently published an action plan aiming to remedy the issues highlighted in the report.

It has hired a new full-time person in charge, who was appointed last June, while later the same week a clinical nurse manager, who is trained as a positive-behaviour support specialist, was also appointed.

The management of the ­centre commissioned a full fire-safety review of the centre and has implemented changes recommended by a fire-safety consultancy company.

Last night, St John of God Community Services (SJOGCS) said it had "brought about ­significant improvements in the quality of life of the residents in this designated centre".

Hiqa conducted an unannounced inspection on January 6 - SJOGCS is awaiting the results of that inspection.

Irish Independent

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