Inadequate numbers of trained staff at centre for vulnerable adults

Report finds some staff not trained to give medication to residents

A residential centre in west Dublin for vulnerable adults with disabilities and medical conditions was found to have had inadequate numbers of trained staff on duty to meet their needs.

The Health Information and Quality Authority carried out an unannounced inspection last August into Woodvale Group, a residential service for 12 adults operated by the Daughters of Charity, on foot of previous concerns.

Overall, inspectors found the centre was non-compliant with 12 regulations relating to issues such as staffing, training, risk management and residents’ rights.

Woodvale Group consists of two houses located in a suburban area of Dublin 15 which are home to adults with mild to severe intellectual disabilities.


While residents were supported by a staff team that included nurses, social care workers and care assistants, inspectors found there was not always sufficient numbers of staff on duty.

Inspectors also found a number of staff did not have mandatory training in areas such as fire safety, positive behaviour support and safeguarding vulnerable adults.

In addition, not all staff were trained to administer emergency medication for epilepsy and no plans were in place to address these deficits.

Practices relating to organising cover did not ensure continuity of care for residents and staff on the morning of the inspection were unaware which relief member was coming on shift.

Risk of seizures

Inspectors also found risk management systems were not strong enough. For example, a risk assessment for a resident at risk of seizures stated that they had nursing supervision at all times.

However, on the day of the inspection the resident was out in the community with two care staff who were not trained to administer emergency medication. There was also no guidance on how to support the resident in the absence of a nurse.

In response to the findings, Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service pledged to ensure all staff would receive mandatory training and that sufficient numbers of staff would be on duty in future.

In a separate report, inspectors found that Cherry Orchard Hospital, a HSE-run centre for children and adults with disabilities, continued to have major levels of non-compliance with care regulations.

The centre in Dublin 10 had previously been issued with notices of a proposal to cancel its registration “due to high levels of non-compliance identified on previous inspections”.

These previous reports found shortcomings in areas such as care planning, quality and safety, while the residential premises were found to not be fit for purpose with some residents forced to share bedrooms.

A follow-up inspection last September found that while progress was being made, there were still five areas of non-compliance in relation to residents’ rights, dignity and consultation, and safe and suitable premises.

A second inspection last December also found six areas of non-compliances in staffing, governance, complaints procedures, the premises and residents’ rights.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent