Monday 26 September 2016

Opening of residential care centre delayed after manager found lacking qualifications – Hiqa report

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 04/08/2016 | 09:58

Hiqa. Photo: PA
Hiqa. Photo: PA

The opening of a new residential care centre for people with autism has been delayed after inspectors found five areas of major non-compliance at the facility.

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The Carena Care centre in Cork has not yet opened, but inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) discovered a number of serious failures to comply with regulations on visiting the site.

The Irish Times reports that the manager of the British-owned centre was found to be lacking the required qualifications, skills and experience to run the centre, and inspectors criticised the fact that UK law formed the basis for many of the centres policies.

The centre’s policy on risk-taking in particular caused concern, as inspectors said it didn’t offer enough detail about how incidents involving aggression or violence would be handled.

The centre also lacked clear arrangements to allow residents access to a pharmacist.

The Carena Care centre is housed in a newly-renovated two-storey farmhouse across four acres of land in a small town in Cork.

It is built to accommodate four residents with autism, epilepsy or challenging behaviours.

The farm has chickens, roosters, dogs and two horses, which the manager said would be available to residents with intellectual disabilities for “therapeutic horse rising”.

While inspectors deemed the renovations were of a very high standard and were satisfied that significant resources had been dedicated to fire safety upgrades, the report noted that the ratio of staff to residents was unclear, and found contradictions in the centre’s policies on Garda vetting.

The Times reports that the operators have committed to hire a more qualified person to run the centre and to adapt their policies to comply with Irish laws and regulations.

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