Thursday 17 August 2017

Health watchdog calls for improved vetting

Hiqa warned it was essential to have Garda vetting in place for all staff and volunteers. Photo: PA
Hiqa warned it was essential to have Garda vetting in place for all staff and volunteers. Photo: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Some children's services, nursing homes and disability homes need to take safeguarding more seriously, a new report by the health watchdog has warned.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) warned it was essential to have Garda vetting in place for all staff and volunteers.

The warning has emerged in a review of inspection reports.

Hiqa said while regulation is improving these services, there are also weaknesses in the protection of vulnerable people who are at risk of abuse, harm and exploitation.

"The State distributes large sums of funding to various organisations to provide a service on its behalf. However, there is often insufficient oversight of how this money is used or on the outcomes it achieves for service users," said Mary Dunnion, chief inspector of social services.

During 2016, the chief inspector issued 11 notices to centres for people with disabilities.

"Throughout 2016, disability service providers were required to attend 153 meetings with the chief inspector to account for their failures," she said.

"In older people's services, a total of 30 nursing homes had restrictive conditions applied to their registration."

Nursing Homes Ireland welcomed recognition of the challenge the sector faces and the need for more State support.

Irish Independent

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