‘Extremely unkempt’ residential home has registration cancelled

Inspectors noted ‘strong’ smell of cat waste at Camphill Community centre near Gorey

When inspectors visited in March they did not leave until a deep clean of the centre was carried out, resulting in eight large black bags of refuse being removed. Photograph: iStock

When inspectors visited in March they did not leave until a deep clean of the centre was carried out, resulting in eight large black bags of refuse being removed. Photograph: iStock

 

A residential home for people with intellectual disabilities has had its registration cancelled after residents were found to be living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Health Information Quality Authority (Hiqa) inspectors found residents of the Camphill Community in Duffcarrig, Co Wexford, in “extremely unkempt, visibly dirty” conditions with food items and animal waste on the floor.

The “strong and offensive odour of cat waste” was such that inspectors found it difficult to stand in a bedroom area, Hiqa said.

The facility, in a rural area about 6km from Gorey, consists of seven residential units and is registered to provide care and support for up to 25 residents.

When inspectors visited in March they did not leave until a deep clean of the centre was carried out, resulting in eight large black bags of refuse being removed.

Pathways between the houses where the residents lived were muddy and rough underfoot in places, which Hiqa said was a difficulty for residents with reduced mobility. Inspectors said the premises needed substantial maintenance.

A further announced inspection, carried out in May, found that while there had been improvements to some of the more concerning aspects of the living environment, the provider had failed to implement most of its planned actions to improve the care and support provided to residents.

Inadequate staffing

There continued to be a very high level of non-compliance with the regulations in the centre. Improvements had been made but not enough to justify it retaining its registration, Hiqa decided.

The health watchdog said staffing levels were inadequate and there were inadequate controls on the finances of residents. Many residents did not have enough to occupy their time. The centre, which has 23 residents, has since been taken over by the HSE.

The managers were sent a warning letter last September, an improvement letter seeking changes in November and then a notice of the proposal to cancel the registration in March followed by a final inspection in May.

The owners waived its right to appeal the decision to the District Court and the takeover occurred last month.

Hiqa chief inspector Mary Dunnion said cancelling the registration was a “last resort” but was necessary in this case as there was an “immediate serious risk to residents”.

The Camphill Communities of Ireland are part of an international charitable trust working with people with intellectual disabilities. There are 16 centres across the State.

Hiqa stated last year it had “a series of very poor inspection findings in centres” operated by the Camphill Communities of Ireland, which had since submitted a national improvement. That plan is being monitored by Hiqa on a monthly basis with a series of unannounced inspections.