Inclusion Ireland criticises Hiqa over care-homes inspections

Report says health watchdog is not listening to concerns of intellectually disabled

Inclusion Ireland analysed the first 50 inspection reports of residential services for people with disabilities drawn up by Hiqa last year. Photograph: The Irish Times

Inclusion Ireland analysed the first 50 inspection reports of residential services for people with disabilities drawn up by Hiqa last year. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The State’s health watchdog may be helping to conceal abuse in care homes by failing to carry out comprehensive inspections, a report claims.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa), which inspects residential units for the intellectually disabled, is “not listening” to this community, according to the report from Inclusion Ireland.

The organisation analysed the first 50 inspection reports of residential services for people with disabilities drawn up by Hiqa last year.

Only 11 per cent saw people with a disability and asked for their views of the service, according to the working paper.

Notable gaps

“As a result, the voice of the resident was extremely faint or silent in the reports,” it says. “There were few, if any, quotes from residents and scant references to comments by families or on completion of Hiqa questionnaires.

“Partial inspections may be complicit with concealment of abusive care practices in unexamined units.”

Confidence undermined

Paddy Connolly

Criticising Government inaction on disability, he said the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871 should be repealed and the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill introduced without further delay.

Hiqa declined to comment, other than to say it has carried out 547 inspections in the area.