Dublin disability centre sanctioned over ‘high-risk issues’

Hiqa says St John of God centre ‘failed to protect all residents from all forms of abuse’

Hiqa found  the St John of God disability centre at Pampuri Lawns in Dublin had an over-reliance on relief and agency staff.

Hiqa found the St John of God disability centre at Pampuri Lawns in Dublin had an over-reliance on relief and agency staff.


A disability centre in Dublin was sanctioned after an unannounced Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) found “high-risk issues” were not being adequately addressed.

The St John of God centre, Pampuri Lawns, in Dublin 15, needed “significant improvements” to bring the premises, fire safety, risk management and health care in the residence up to standard, Hiqa found.

Inspectors also noted the St John of God centre had “failed to protect all residents from all forms of abuse, particularly abuse secondary to neglect.”

Staff numbers and skill levels at the centre were also deemed “not adequate” to meet the variety of needs of the Pampuri Lawn’s 11 residents, with some staff members not suitably trained for the care they provided, the report states.

One resident was made vulnerable to health complications due to a staff “oversight” in tending to their fluid output.

Another had not been seen by a physio for almost two years, despite needing a review several times over this period.

The designated centre for adults with disabilities will be allowed to continue operating but will now be subjected to more rigorous Hiqa compliance procedures - including increased inspections - until it is deemed to have reached the required standard.

The report also found there was an over-reliance on relief and agency staff which meant residents lacked continuity of care.

The report states “inspectors were not assured that there were effective management systems in place to deliver a safe service.”

The centre was issued with a notice of proposed decision to cancel the renewal of its registration.


Of the 19 disability centres inspected by Hiqa, issues were found in five.

These included issues at another Dublin-based facility, also run by St John of God, which was found to require “significant improvements” to its premises.

Inspector Erin Clarke noted “infection control issues” and insufficient guidance for staff to safely administer medication at the centre in south Clondalkin, in Dublin.

Expired medicines were kept alongside in-date medicines, with no apparent communication made between day and night workers as to which ones should be given to patients.

Her report notes much of the Clondalkin building is in need of repair and a “deep clean”, and said “the quality of life which residents experienced was negatively impacted” by the condition of the premises.

Some of the building’s defects were highlighted in audits in 2017; but these were not addressed, Ms Clarke found.

Cramped living conditions, cold bedrooms, peeling paint and a broken shower rail were just some of the shortcomings mentioned in the report.

One room was infested with black mould, an issue that was not raised with maintenance. Residents who could not access the upstairs bathroom had to enter the wet room and shower area through the kitchen.

Cramped toilet access also meant that the transfer of residents was considered unsafe. Furthermore, soap and toilet rolls were absent from bathrooms.

The inspection found: “significant improvements were required to ensure residents were fully supported and in receipt of a safe and quality driven service.”

HIQA inspectors found a good level of compliance with regulations and standards at 19 centres, including two others run by St John of God Community Services.

Issues of non-compliance were discovered in three other centres- two run by St Michael’s House and one operated by St Joseph’s Foundation. HIQA inspected the centres against the Health Act 2007, Regulations 2013 and the National Standards for Residential Service for Children and Adults with Disabilities.