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Monday 22 September 2014

Legislation to protect our elderly 'full of gaps'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

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HIQA chief inspector Phelim Quinn
HIQA chief inspector Phelim Quinn

A CHIEF inspector with the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has said there are "gaps" in the legislation responsible for the safeguarding of elderly people being cared for in designated centres.

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Phelim Quinn, a chief inspector with HIQA, told the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children yesterday that he would now like to see the introduction of a piece of "parallel legislation", which would "enable a co-ordinated and multi-agency approach towards the concept of vulnerable adult protection".

Mr Quinn was the chief inspector of HIQA's first annual report into designated care homes for older people last year, which was just released last month.

The report found that there were 373 alerts of alleged or confirmed cases of abuse in long-term care homes last year.

He said that although the number was a "good thing, because it states to indicate that there is at least an open culture for reporting of those particular events", it was a "disturbing number when one brings that back down to a human level".

"I suppose that is one of the reasons, the concept of wanting to move towards a parallel legislation and parallel national policy that enables a co-ordinated and multi-agency approach towards the concept of vulnerable adult protection," he said.

Eamon Timmins of Age Action supported his call for appropriate laws.

Irish Independent

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