Tuesday 24 April 2018

Resident at disability centre 'hadn't received enough food in 18 hours' - report

Hiqa. Photo: PA
Hiqa. Photo: PA

Eilish O’Regan

Inspectors who made an unannounced visit to a disability centre found one resident had not received adequate food for more than eighteen hours.

The inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa),  who visited the St Raphael’s Campus in Youghal in Cork  in May and June, were told this was due to lack of staff available at that time to assist the resident to get out of bed.

It has previously been the subject of a court application by Hiqa which had imposed restrictive conditions on it .

Inspectors expressed concern about the use of antibiotics and medication to treat seizures which could have had”potentially catastrophic” or even fata impacts on patients.

One of the residents alleged  they had been physically abused by another and had lodged 15 complaints. However, they felt none had been properly examined.

The centre which has thirty residents is due to be closed next year.

Hiqa published 11 reports on residential services for people with disabilities which relate to centres which are provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

In relation to five of these centres, inspectors found evidence of a good quality of life for residents. The provider was found to be ensuring a high level of compliance with the regulatory requirements and providing a good standard of support and care to residents.

Residents in one centre told inspectors that they were very happy living in their home. Inspectors found evidence of care practices that supported residents to exercise choice, and residents were consulted with on the running of the centre.

The HSE had made arrangements for a different provider, Muiriosa Foundation, to operate the centre on its behalf.

Inspectors found that there had been significant improvements in residents’ quality of life since the introduction of these arrangements.

The previous provider of two centres, the Irish Society for Autism, had taken court action to appeal Hiqa’s decision to cancel their registration.

The appeals were withdrawn in court and the HSE became the provider of these services. These inspections were carried out to ensure that there had been improvements to the safety and the quality of life of residents following this action. The HSE had made arrangements for Gheel Autism Services to operate the centres on its behalf, and inspectors found significant improvements had been made in safety and quality of life for residents. The HSE was monitoring these services to ensure that improvements were sustained.

The HSE had become provider for one of these centres following court action taken by Hiqa to cancel the registration of the centre because of significant failings by the previous provider to ensure the safety and care of residents.

Inspectors found that residents continued to receive a poor quality service, and the HSE had failed to address the safety, health and social care issues for residents. In another centre which was the subject of court orders during 2015, inspectors found that while there had been some improvements for residents in a number of areas, there continued to be a high level of non-compliance in areas such as healthcare and risk management in the centre.

Inspectors also found poor oversight arrangements in two small community-based houses operated by the HSE. The HSE had failed to ensure that there were adequate arrangements in place to ensure the safety of residents. Issues were identified in areas such as arrangements to safeguard residents from the risk of abuse, the management of restrictive practices, and risk management in these centres.

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