Limerick disability care home failed to protect residents from abuse, Hiqa says

Health service regulator finds non-compliance with regulations in 17 care homes

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there was a delay of at least three months in starting an investigation into an allegation of abuse at Community Residential Service Limerick Group H

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there was a delay of at least three months in starting an investigation into an allegation of abuse at Community Residential Service Limerick Group H

 

A Daughters of Charity care home for people with disabilities in Limerick failed to ensure that all residents were protected from abuse, a regulatory report has found.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there was a delay of at least three months in starting an investigation into an allegation of abuse at Community Residential Service Limerick Group H, a care home for seven residents.

The health service watchdog found that the the allegation had not been initially recognised as such and that there were inconsistencies in how the incident was reported to the regulator by the registered care provider, Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services Company.

During two inspections carried out in early March, the watchdog found that residents were not always provided with therapeutic supports for the challenging behaviour of residents.

There was also a delay in the identification of concerns raised by residents such as on the allegation of suspected abuse. The regulator found that there was no evidence of advocacy supports for residents to support them to raise complaints and concerns.

“It was evident that significant improvements were required to ensure residents received a good quality of care and support in their home,” the regulator says in its inspection report.

Witnessed

Three residents witnessed the alleged incident, the report states. Staff members met residents individual to seek clarity on the concern raised.

The home was unable to get an account of events from this resident’s perspective and there was no evidence of communication or advocacy support for the resident to support them to communicate their account of the event, Hiqa said.

The report found that there was “no documented plan of care” to support residents who were deemed at risk of making false allegations against staff members. The Limerick care home was found not to be compliant with five regulations assessed during the inspection.

The report was one of 30 inspection reports published by Hiqa.

Inspectors found “a good level of compliance” with regulations at 13 designated centres for people with disabilities and non-compliance with certain regulations at the remaining 17.

Non-compliance was identified in the inspection of seven Brothers of Charity Services Ireland Centres, including three that needed to strengthen governance and oversight to ensure that the service provided was safe, consistent and appropriate to residents’ needs.

In another centre, they had not ensured that staff had access to appropriate training to support residents. In one centre, inspectors found that the provider had not ensured that residents had “the freedom to exercise choice and control in their lives”.

Inspectors found non-compliance in two Cope Foundation centres - in one, they found that management needed to be improved and in another appropriate staffing levels were not in place to meet the needs of residents.