Friday 2 December 2016

Inspectors find 'contradictions in contracts' for St John of God residents

Laura Larkin

Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30

The under-fire charity St John of God has drawn criticism from
Hiqa inspectors about discrepancies found in contracts for tenants of its housing association.
The under-fire charity St John of God has drawn criticism from Hiqa inspectors about discrepancies found in contracts for tenants of its housing association.

The under-fire charity St John of God (SJOG) has drawn criticism from Hiqa inspectors about discrepancies found in contracts for tenants of its housing association.

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A number of inspections were carried out on facilities run by SJOG in recent months and, while facilities were generally found to be well run, inspectors did raise a concern about financial details in some contracts in two centres.

In one residential facility in Co Louth, contracts that outlined what services were provided to residents lacked clarity.

"Greater clarity was needed in relation to the fees to be paid by residents, particularly with regard to utilities. In this regard the contracts in place contained contradictory information," a report prepared after the inspection noted.

In the same facility it was stated in the contracts that on-site staff also paid a portion of the bills, but this was found not to be the case.

In another instance, five residents were supposed to split bills equally but one person paid less as they were away from the facility at the weekend. As a result the other four residents were paying more for bills than their contract stated.

In addition inspectors felt it wasn't clear whether the residents or their guardians had actually signed up to the terms.

Charge

Meanwhile, in another facility in Co Louth, inspectors noted a lack of detail on what people were paying a €50 housekeeping charge for.

"While the service agreement set out the services to be provided for each resident, the fees to be charged were not adequately transparent or were not explicitly stated. For example, each resident paid €50 per week for housekeeping. There was no breakdown available of what services were included as part of housekeeping," they said.

A spokesman for SJOG community services said: "The service acknowledges that in some cases the contract of supports didn't specify in enough detail specific costs, etc, and to this end the service has since included specific detail relating to all costs associated [with] each resident's tenancy agreement within the contract of support and where any anomalies were identified the service has rectified this for each resident."

Irish Independent

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