Monday 25 June 2018

HSE vows to implement changes at 'disgraced' care home

Áras Attracta
Áras Attracta

Sam Griffin

The HSE has pledged to implement changes to staffing and governance to prevent the closure of a centre for residents at the scandal-hit Áras Attracta nursing home.

The Mayo home for people with intellectual disabilities may have to close some of its services after an unannounced inspection visit by Hiqa last month found the care provided did not meet the necessary standards.

The HSE said the changes would not happen "overnight" after the health services watchdog confirmed it has issued formal notice of proposal to cancel registration of Centre Two at the home in Swinford, which was at the centre of a controversial 'Prime Time' investigation.

The centre, which is being run by the HSE, failed to meet the standards in management, governance and staffing.

The order comes after an unannounced visit by Hiqa inspectors on July 12 and 13.

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

The HSE has 28 days to make the changes and then communicate with Hiqa outlining what measures it has taken to rectify the areas deemed below the standards of care expected.

Centre Two comprises five bungalows including Bungalow 3 which was the subject of the 'Prime Time' investigation.

The HSE said it was "disappointed" by Hiqa's decision to issue the notice and said it would address "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 in a statement.

It also said additional staff had been recruited at Áras Attracta and 25 posts had been approved to allow for the commission of two vacant bungalows.


The HSE said it continued to receive feedback from the expert review, commissioned after the programme aired, which is led by Dr Kevin McCoy.

A new director of services has also taken up duty and candidates have been identified for three senior clinical positions.

The HSE added: "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."

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

Irish Independent

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