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HIQA finds major non-compliance in residential centre for adults with disabilities

Findings of non-compliance in respect to eleven out of twelve regulations



An announced inspection by HIQA of the Cuan Mhic Giolla Bhride residential centre for adults with disabilities discovered major failing resulting in findings of non-compliance in respect to eleven out of twelve regulations.

The centre, which is run by Inspire Wellbeing, provides full-time residential care and support for two adults with disabilities. It comprises a modern, five bedroom, two storey house situated in a peaceful, scenic and rural setting in Co. Louth.

On the date of the inspection on September 16th 2021, the inspector reported shortcomings in relation to the keeping of records, inadequate staffing and training, and raised concerns over infection control, especially in relation to COVID-19, as well as the actual condition of the building.

A report published on the HIQA website states: "Overall the inspector found that the governance and management systems and the staffing arrangements were not adequate to ensure effective oversight of the centre or to ensure consistency of care was provided to the residents.” 

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"As a result, significant improvements were required in a number of regulations inspected so as to ensure the residents were in receipt of a safe service.”

The inspector found that records were not readily accessible and report states that  “this was very concerning as the staff in the centre who primarily were made up of agency staff would not have access to these records either.”

Staff shortages meant that were limited activities for residents to engage in on the day of the inspection.

"The staffing levels were not in line with the assessed needs of the residents and the provider could not provide assurances that all staff (most of whom were agency staff) had up to date Garda Vetting or training completed.”

The report also reveals that prior to this inspection, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) had received unsolicited information in August 2021 where concerns had been identified about the staffing arrangements in the centre.

There was a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 in the centre at the time, resulting in a significant shortfall in staff.

At that time HIQA contacted the provider to seek assurances in relation to the arrangements in place to ensure residents needs were being met and were told  the centre was in a 'crisis' as there were times that they could not provide adequately skilled staff to meet the needs of the residents.

 HIQA contacted the funding body to alert t hem to the situation and to outline the concerns to the quality and safety of care to the residents. Written assurances were submitted to HIQA verifying that arrangements would be put in place to ensure that a skilled team were available in  the centre during this outbreak.

However, the report states that “the systems in place to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 in the centre were not effective in ensuring that a skilled workforce would be available in the event of another outbreak. In addition, some of the staff had not completed infection control training to ensure they had the necessary up to date skills to manage or prevent an outbreak occurring again in the centre.

It also details how there were insufficient staff on the day of inspection and one resident who was assessed as requiring one to one staffing was observed leaving the centre unaccompanied. Staff were only made aware of this when they heard the front door banging as the resident left

The report also states that ‘there were also times in the centre when nursing care had not being provided. This was not in line with the statement of purpose for the centre which outlined that a nurse would be rostered on duty 24 hours a day.

It was found that issues which had been raised on previous inspections had not been followed up on.

The inspector also found that a sensory room in the centre was not being used for its stated purpose.

In relation to healthcare, the report held that “the residents did not have timely access to some allied health professionals in line with their assessed needs.”

Findings of non-compliance were recording in respect of regulations on staffing, training and staff development, records, governance and management, statement of purpose, notification of incidents, premises, protection against infection, individual assessment and personal plan, healthcare and protection.

The centre was found to be substantially compliant in regards to general welfare and development.

In response, Inspire Wellbeing, provided details of the steps which had been taken to bring the centre into compliance with the regulations, including the recruiting of staff, provision of training, Garda vetting, and updating of records had been completed by the timeframe given by HIQA.

 Inspire Wellbeing has its registered offices at Unit16/17, Creative Spark, Clontygora Court, Muirhevnamore, Dundalk.