Saturday, June 22, 2024

Disability Services Inspections: Mixed Results Highlight Both Good Practices and Areas for Improvement

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The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published 24 inspection reports on designated disability services centers. These inspections were meticulously conducted against the comprehensive regulations set forth by the Health Act 2007, specifically focusing on the Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Persons (Children and Adults) with Disabilities Regulations 2013, and the National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities. The publication of these reports marks a significant step in ensuring transparency and accountability within residential services for people with disabilities in Ireland.

The reports provide a detailed overview of the current state of compliance within these centers, highlighting areas where regulations and standards are being met successfully, as well as identifying critical areas needing urgent improvement. By evaluating these disability services centers, HIQA aims to safeguard the rights and well-being of residents, ensuring that they receive the highest standard of care and support possible. This comprehensive evaluation helps to drive continuous improvement in the quality of services provided to individuals with disabilities, reflecting the ongoing commitment to enhancing their quality of life and ensuring their safety and dignity.

Of the 24 inspections, 12 disability services centers were found to have a generally good level of compliance with the regulations and standards. These disability services centers, operated by providers such as Nua Healthcare Services Limited, Praxis Care, Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company, St John of God Community Services CLG, St Michael’s House, Sunbeam House Services CLG, and Talbot Care Unlimited Company, demonstrated several examples of good practice.

Disability Services Spotlight: Empowering Residents and Addressing Management Issues

At a center in Meath, operated by Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company, staff received training in human rights and actively ensured that residents’ choices and rights were respected. Positive risk-taking was encouraged, with residents being supported in activities such as swimming and go-carting. Similarly, at a St Michael’s House center in Dublin, residents reported increased independence through the use of public transport, managing finances, cooking, household chores, and self-administering medications.

In Wicklow, a center operated by Sunbeam House Services CLG completed comprehensive communication assessments for residents, developing plans to support their ability to express wishes and needs. Staff were provided with activity profiles on residents’ interests, guiding them in meaningful activities.

However, non-compliances impacting care and support delivery were identified in 12 other disability services centers. Poor governance and management practices were common issues. For instance, a center operated by Resilience Healthcare Limited had to safeguard incidents that impacted residents, alongside needing improvements in fire safety and medication management.

Disability Services

Urgent Action Needed to Address Fire Safety, Risk Management & Resident Care Concerns

Four centers operated by Nua Healthcare Services Limited required improvements in fire safety, premises conditions, residents’ rights, personal plans, and medication management. The Peter Bradley Foundation CLG needed to enhance risk management and residents’ plans at two of its centers. Similarly, poor risk management and fire safety posed significant risks at a center operated by St Catherine’s Association CLG.

Sunbeam House Services CLG also faced issues with residents’ personal plans and premises conditions. At a St John of God Community Services CLG center, residents’ development and activity programs required enhancement. Peamount Healthcare needed improvements in residents’ contracts and premises conditions. Lastly, a St Michael’s House center had inadequate infection control measures, posing risks to residents.

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The HIQA reports provide valuable insights into the current state of disability services in Ireland, highlighting both commendable practices and areas needing urgent attention for improvement. Ensuring compliance with regulations and standards is crucial for the safety and well-being of residents. Providers must address the identified issues promptly to enhance the overall quality of care and support in their centers.


Resource: Health Information and Quality Authority, May 22, 2024

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