Use of residents’ money among issues found at centres for people with disabilities

Hiqa identifies non-compliance at almost half of such centres inspected recently

Mould and staffing issues were among the problems highlighted during the recent Hiqa inspections. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mould and staffing issues were among the problems highlighted during the recent Hiqa inspections. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

The State’s health service watchdog has identified non-compliance with regulations and standards at almost half of centres for people with disabilities recently inspected, including residents’ money being spent without receipts, and issues with mould and staff shortages.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) inspected 34 designated centres for people with disabilities during recent inspections and found non-compliance at 16 centres.

While a “good level of compliance” was noted at 18 of the centres inspected, the remaining centres had issues including in relation to infection control, general welfare and development, governance and management, staffing, and staff training.

Peamount Healthcare had one centre noted for non-compliance, including issues with the management of residents’ personal finances.

The inspector of the centre found that some residents’ finances were used on a regular basis to pay for items such as a television for a shared sittingroom, light fittings, wall paint, bulbs and washing detergent, despite the organisation’s policy clearly stating that such costs were the responsibility of the provider and not the residents.

In one case at the Peamount centre in Co Dublin in question, the inspector found there were no receipts available for some of the expenditures of a resident’s personal money.

Peamount also had “a number of deficits” in mandatory fire training, practical hand hygiene and basic life support, the inspector found. The centre was “not adequately resourced” and relied heavily on agency staff, which impacted on the needs of the resident group, it was noted.

For example, in one unit of the centre, where there were six residents living, the inspector found that there was only one staff member rostered to work, with occasional support from a “floating staff member” when it was available.

Protection against infection

Two centres operated by Inspire Wellbeing Company Limited by Guarantee were also found to be in breach of regulations and standards in six areas, including staffing and protection against infection.

For example, an inspector found that records in one of Inspire Wellbeing’s centres were not all accessible.

This was “very concerning” as the staff in the centre who primarily were made up of agency staff would not have access to these records either.

“This had the potential to impact the safety and quality of care provided to the residents as the records were not accessible, therefore staff may not be aware of care requirements for the residents,” the report on the inspection said.

There were also limited activities for residents to engage in at that centre due to staff shortages, and overall the centre was “not being effectively managed”, the inspector found.

At three centres operated by Kare, Promoting Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities, improvements in fire precautions and infection controls were needed.

At five centres operated by the Muiríosa Foundation, non-compliance was found in the areas of staff training, staffing, governance and management, infection control and fire precautions.

In one of the Muiríosa Foundation’s centres, there was mould on the ceilings of one of the bathrooms and one of the resident’s bedrooms, and “no evidence of plans to mitigate any infection control risk that this might indicate”, according to an inspection report.

RehabCare and St Patrick’s Centre (Kilkenny) each had one centre noted for non-compliance, while Resilience Healthcare Ltd had two centres that did not meet the necessary standards or regulations during inspection.