Hiqa criticises residential care centre over lax reporting

Owners did not notify authority of serious injury and abuse allegations

A report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) questioned attitudes towards potential human rights infringements at a residential care centre in the southeast, as well as the frequency and level of training afforded to staff.

A report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) questioned attitudes towards potential human rights infringements at a residential care centre in the southeast, as well as the frequency and level of training afforded to staff.

 

Owners of a residential care centre in the southeast have been criticised for failing to report serious injuries, unexplained absences and allegations of abuse.

A report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) questioned attitudes towards potential human rights infringements in the premises, as well as the frequency and level of training afforded to staff.

Inspectors found that staff at the centre – a house for three men with “low support needs” – had failed to inform Hiqa of separate events involving serious injury, an unexplained absence and an abuse allegation which had occurred over a 12-month period prior to the January visit.

Existing regulations state that the authority should be formally notified of any such incidents within three working days.

In a response, the care provider disputed that a resident getting the wrong bus constituted an unexplained absence, and said staff were aware of the person’s whereabouts at all times. However, it was admitted that a “human error” had meant the abuse allegation went unreported as per regulations.

The report author states that although training had been given in relation to intellectual disability and allegations of abuse, some staff had not received this training since 2009.

It was added that “staff had not received any formal support or performance management in relation to their performance of their duties”, while non-nursing staff were not given up-to-date training on medication administration.

Elsewhere, inspectors noted that the centre’s human rights committee failed to act upon numerous complaints over restrictions imposed on residents’ lives. The original referrals were made in September 2013, but legal advice had still not been sought on the issues raised by the time of the inspection.

The overall summary concluded that residents spoke very positively about staff, saying they were caring and looked after them very well, before indicating that the “complex healthcare needs” of some residents were not being addressed appropriately.

The centre was found to be non-compliant in six of the nine areas that were examined during the visit.

The findings of a separate inspection released on Wednesday noted that night-time staffing levels in Rush Nursing Home in north Dublin were not in compliance with health and safety regulations.

The discovery, which came following a public tip-off, related to the fact that only one nurse had been put on night duty for a total of 33 nights over a two-month period when two are normally required.

The nursing home was deemed to be overwhelmingly compliant in other areas.