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HIQA Releases Inspection Reports on Disability Centers in Ireland

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The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) issued 24 inspection reports focusing on disability centers across Ireland. These inspections are conducted in alignment with the Health Act 2007 (Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Persons with Disabilities) Regulations 2013 and the National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities. This comprehensive oversight aims to ensure residential services meet established quality and safety standards.

The recent inspections revealed a varied landscape of compliance within these disability centers. Of the 24 centers reviewed, half were found to generally meet the regulatory and standard requirements effectively. These disability centers are managed by various organizations including Ability West, Avista CLG, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, and Camphill Communities of Ireland. In particular, good practices were noted in several centers where residents’ engagement and independence were actively supported.

For instance, a center in Galway operated by Ability West was praised for its vibrant community activities. Residents there enjoyed a range of social activities from music concerts and cinema outings to shopping trips and dining out. Another positive example came from a Wexford center run by Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, where a resident who uses Irish Sign Language expressed satisfaction with the support received towards greater independence.

Compliance and Care Challenges Found in 12 Disability Centers, Highlighting Staffing and Safety Issues

The remaining 12 disability centers struggled with various compliance issues that directly impacted the care and support of residents. Notably, deficiencies were seen in staffing and living conditions, particularly in some centers operated by Brothers of Charity Services Ireland CLG, which compromised the safeguarding of residents. These centers also faced challenges in fire safety and personal planning for residents.

Avista CLG had governance issues in three of its disability centers, requiring enhancements in risk management, staffing, and the addressing of personal and dietary needs of residents. Similarly, Ability West needed to better its governance, with specific improvements necessary in medication management and staffing to fully meet resident needs. Additional reports highlighted that the COPE Foundation’s centers needed to better protect resident privacy and healthcare provisions, as well as improve infection control measures. Camphill Communities of Ireland also faced criticism for inadequate staffing that failed to meet resident needs adequately.

Disability Centers

HIQA Highlights Need for Improvement in Restrictive Practices at Disability Centers

A critical area highlighted for improvement involved the use of restrictive practices at a center managed by Carriglea Cáirde Services. The need for significant improvements here underscores a broader challenge within some centers to align practices with the best interests of residents, ensuring their safety and well-being without undue restrictions.

These findings from HIQA’s rigorous inspections underscore the ongoing challenges and achievements within the sector. While many disability centers demonstrate commendable practices and a strong commitment to resident welfare, others must address significant gaps to meet the required standards. HIQA’s continued oversight is crucial in driving improvements across all centers, ensuring that all residents receive the care and support they deserve.


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Resource: Health Information and Quality Authority, May 08, 2024

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