Thursday 30 March 2017

Aras Attracta centre issued notice to cancel registration following Hiqa visit

Áras Attracta
Áras Attracta

Sam Griffin

The scandal-hit Aras Attracta home for people with intellectual disabilities may have to close down one of its centres following an unannounced inspection visit by Hiqa last month.

The health standards watchdog confirmed it has issued formal notice of proposal to cancel registration of Centre Two at the Co Mayo home, which was the centre of a controversial Prime Time investigation.

It is understood the centre, which is being run by the HSE, failed to meet the standards in a variety of areas including management, governance and staffing.

The order comes after an unannounced visit by Hiqa inspectors on July 12 and 13 last where various areas of the home were assessed under strict criteria.

The decision by Hiqa does not mean the centre must close immediately, but must make immediate changes to improve conditions at the home.

The HSE must then communicate with Hiqa outlining what measures they have taken to rectify the areas deemed bellowed the standards of care expected.

The centre which failed the inspection is comprised of five bungalows, including Bungalow 3 which was the subject of the Prime Time investigation.

A garda investigation was launched after the shocking footage was aired and six staff are now facing criminal charges.

In a statement, the HSE said it was “disappointed” by the decision by Hiqa but said it was committed to “addressing the issues raised, particularly in relation to staffing and governance”.

“The HSE wishes to reassure families and residents that we will continue to provide services for the residents in our care. We will provide appropriate governance and oversight ensuring residents needs are being met in a safe and caring environment,” the HSE said.

It also said that additional staff have been recruited and in the past fortnight, a further 25 posts have been approved to allow for the commission of two vacant bungalows which will reduce the numbers in some of the existing three centers.

But the HSE also added change will not happen instantly.

“It is important to stress that while we are advancing this programme, the type of change required cannot happen overnight and we expect challenges along the way both based on our own assessment and also that of the regulator HIQA in their periodic reports”.

“These assessments are important in recognising where we are progressing, where we still have more to do and where we come up against obstacles.”

The HSE will now respond to Hiqa outlining the various changes it will make.

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