HIQA reports detail failings at number of Sunbeam centres
Sunbeam CEO says detailed response to rectify failings is filed
Concern has been raised following the publication of new HIQA reports which detail a number of cases of non-compliance in relation to eight units run by Sunbeam House Services in Co Wicklow.
The reports were made public on Thursday last and relate to Kilcarra, Hall Lodge and Vale Lodge in Arklow, Ros Mhuire in Rathdrum, Helensburgh and Appleview in Greystones and Bella Vista and Villa Maria in Bray.
While the Kilcarra and Ros Mhuire units were found to be fully compliant, 20 separate incidents of non-compliance were documented between the other six services.
Hall Lodge in Arklow, a residential and respite unit, was found to be non-compliant in four areas including 'premises', with the bathroom not of a sufficient standard to meet clients' needs. It required further adaptations and hoisting equipment.
The inspector also had an issue under 'medical and pharmaceutical services' as the maximum dose of PRN medicines was not consistently stated or differed from other records. This follows similar errors in April and May of this year.
Also in Arklow, residential service Vale Lodge was found to be without an integrated fire alarm system and no adequate arrangements were in place for the containment of fire. An action plan from Sunbeam House Services confirmed that this issue had been addressed by July 31.
Helensburgh residential unit in Greystones was found to have four non-compliances in the areas on fire precautions, training and staff development, governance and management, and individual assessment and personal plan.
According to the report, some gaps were found in relation to both mandatory and refresher training for staff and supervision meetings between the person in charge and staff had not occurred frequently enough. The inspector also found that an operational management auditing system was not in place which could provide consistent day-to-day reviews of the quality of the care provided.
Residents at the centre had not received a comprehensive annual assessment of needs as required by the regulations, the report found.
While the centre had adequate fire safety systems in place, the report stated that improvements were required to ensure that residents had been assessed with regards to evacuation aids and strategies which may be required if residents refused to, or could not independently, exit the premises.
At Appleview in Greystones, the centre was found to be non-compliant in the area of risk management procedures in relation to keeping a register of potential hazards and environmental risks within the centre.
There were ten recorded non-compliances between Bella Vista and Villa Maria in Bray, both residential units.
Bella Vista had issues under the categories of persons in charge, staffing, governance and management, medicines and pharmaceutical services and individual assessment and personal plan.
The report stated that at the time of inspection, the person in charge was also responsible for the oversight of a number of designated centres - an arrangement which the inspector said required review to ensure the effective governance, operational management and administration of the centre. A consistency of staff was also not provided and a review was advised so that the needs of service users could be met.
The report highlighted the fact that despite the fact that audits were carried out in some areas previously, some areas of non-compliance had not yet been addressed.
The personal plans of clients were also not updated in a timely manner in some cases, to reflect changes in circumstances.
At Villa Maria, concerns were raised in relation to Training and staff development, premises, fire precautions, individual assessment and personal plan and positive behavioural support.
It was outlined that not all staff had received first aid training or training in autism support.
The report also found that Sunbeam House Services had not ensured that residents had access to adequate-sized communal space in their home and that some areas required re-decorating.
It was also found that fire containment measures were not adequate in relation to fire doors, which the provider said was due to a funding issue which was due to be addressed in July this year.
The report also identified the need for support planning for the management of specific triggers to behaviours that challenge.
The inspector advised that improvements were required to reduce the number of restrictive practices used and that the criteria for use of chemical restraint medication was not clearly set out.
Responding to the HIQA reports, the Sunbeam House Services Family Advocacy Group (SHSFAG) expressed concern that some required works are not expected to take place until late 2019.
'SHSFAG are very concerned by some of the content of the reports noting non-compliance in areas of Fire Prevention/evacuation, Medication Management, Incident Reporting and Staff Training all issues in most of the centres, lack of qualified/trained staff in some centres particularly in the area of medication management, first aid and incident reporting. It was also concerning to note that HIQA accepted dates in late 2019, a year away, to have upgrading work completed in some centres.
'SHSFAG would appeal to the HSE to provide the necessary funding immediately in order that all centres are brought into compliance to ensure a safe comfortable service for all clients.
'SHSFAG are also calling on the HSE to provide the funding for the multi-disciplinary team necessary to ensure all clients are receiving the necessary therapies and activities,' the statement said.
The group also sought clarification from HIQA as to why a report for Clara in Bray was published on the same date as the other eight, but removed a short time later.
CEO of Sunbeam House Services Hugh Kane said that he welcomed the reports and that responses to rectify the areas of concern have been submitted.
'We welcome the overall improvement in the outcome of these reports, we continue to remain focused on meeting the full regulatory requirements.
'All of our residential staff are working hard to ensure the highest possible rate of compliance with the regulations,' said Mr Kane.
'Where the reports identified areas of non-compliance, we have submitted detailed responses to rectify these areas, many have been resolved at this time. Overall organisationally, our compliance rate is currently at 81 per cent. We continue to work with the regulator to ensure those we support receive the best possible support from our services,' he said.