Saturday 18 November 2017

Watchdog orders urgent action over conditions at autism home

An inspectors report was critical of the home
An inspectors report was critical of the home

Sam Griffin

AN inspection of a home for people with autism by the State's health watchdog highlighted problems with mould growing on walls and a litany of other concerns.

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) ordered that immediate action be taken to address emergency evacuation procedures, as it found instances of major non-compliance across 10 areas, at the centre, which is operated by Autism West Ltd in Galway.

The findings of the announced inspection, which was carried out in March of this year, follow similar major non-compliance findings with standards of care at the Aras Attracta disability centre in Co Mayo revealed last week.

The report, which was published on the HIQA website, says the Galway home was found to be non-compliant in regard to resident rights and consultation, resident communication needs, resident social care needs and resident heath care needs.

It also found major non-compliance with medication management, and health, safety and risk management, as well as safeguarding and concerns over governance and management at the centre.

The report says the "emergency evacuation procedure" was found to be "not sufficient to guide practice" as were the centre's "fire safety policies and procedures".

"An immediate action in relation to fire evacuation was issued during the inspection," it states.

Inspectors also reported mould on kitchen and bedroom walls and raised concerns with the general cleanliness of the five-bed centre.

"The inspector was not satisfied that sufficient practices were in place to ensure the adequate cleaning of the centre as the inspector viewed dirt and dust on top of skirting boards, mould on a bathroom window and grime on a shower door," the report states.

Non-compliance with the administering of medication was also identified with it being given by non-nursing staff and workers who had not been trained.

The report also states: "Inspectors were not satisfied that the governance and management of the centre was adequate to ensure good quality of life and good outcomes for residents."

Inspectors said they had concerns that "the lines of accountability in the centre were not clearly defined".

"Management systems were inadequate and did not ensure that the service provided was safe, appropriate to residents' needs, consistent and effectively monitored," it stated.

"The inspector found the provider did not answer the inspector's queries sufficiently and changed his mind in relation to some answers."

The report names Michael Dooley as the person acting on behalf of the service provider. Autism West Ltd did not respond to efforts to contact them last night. The report sets out dozens of areas of improvement in an Action Plan which the service has agreed to implement.

Irish Independent

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