Wednesday 20 March 2019

Inspectors find improvement at intellectual disability centres

Stock photo
Stock photo

Eilish O’Regan

Inspectors have found an improvement in care in most Dublin centres run by one of the leading providers of services for people with an intellectual disability.

During 2017 and early 2018, Hiqa inspectors found that residents living in centres in Palmerstown, operated by Stewarts Care Ltd, had a poor quality of life, were not being adequately safeguarded and were not being provided with a quality of service that they were entitled to.

A new overview report from Hiqa today said that to date, inspectors have found that improvements have been made in the safety and the quality of life for many residents, and in the physical environment that residents live in.

However, this was not consistent in all centres and further progress and improvement was required to ensure all residents were provided with high-quality and safe services.

In response a spokesman for Stewarts Care Ltd said the overview report, while flagging the issues originally reported in 2017, notes that in the second half of 2018 a series of unannounced inspections by Hiqa found that improvements noted in earlier 2018 inspections, compared to those from 2017, “were being sustained and further improvements were being achieved”.

The overview report in particular notes:

  • Progress has been made in relation to protecting and maintaining the rights and dignity of residents
  • A strengthening of the management structure with clearer lines of responsibility and reporting
  • A marked improvement in the quality of life and physical environment for many residents
  • Improvements in safeguarding arrangements on campus
  • Improvements in the recording and collection of data, of infection control practices and in  healthcare support to residents
  • Levels of staffing, mandatory training and staff supervision have all improved

He added: “While the report makes clear that there are still issues to be addressed and that further improvement is possible in the areas making progress, the board and its senior management are committed to continuous further improvement and to securing the resources required to achieve that.

“This cannot be done by Stewarts  alone so it will continue to work with Hiqa, the HSE, and other relevant stakeholders to maintain momentum in that work.”

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