Residents restrained 770 times at Meath care home, inspectors find

Hiqa report on Redwood facility for intellecutally disabled people is published

The entrance to the Redwood Extended Care Facility in Stamullen, Co Meath. Photograph: Google Streetview

The entrance to the Redwood Extended Care Facility in Stamullen, Co Meath. Photograph: Google Streetview


Inspectors have criticised a care centre for its overuse of restraint to control the behaviour of vulnerable residents with intellectual disabilities.

In a report published yesterday by the Health Information and Quality Authority, inspectors detailed 770 incidents of physical restrains over an 11-month period at Redwood Extended Care Facility in Stamullen, Co Meath.

The centre is home to 34 people aged 18 to 69 with complex and high support needs, particularly in relation to behaviour management issues.

In one case, following an incident of restraint, a resident struggled to breathe and his skin appeared to turn blue. However, the resident was not reviewed by a medical doctor until the following day.

While the resident’s medical note included details such as “banged back of head” and “staff concerned of struggle to breathe”, this detail was not recorded or reflected in the incident form completed by staff.

The report states that a high number of intensive physical interventions and restrictive measures were used in the centre on a regular basis.

One resident accounted for 184 incidents of physical restraint within the same period. Another resident accounted for 87 physical restraint interventions.

“Recurrent and lengthy durations of physical interventions up to two and a half hours were reported,” the report states.

In addition, incidents of chemical restraint had not been notified to the authority.

However, inspectors established that medication had been administered by injection to residents during episodes of challenging behaviour.

Oral medication that was prescribed on an “as required” basis was also seen to be administered on a regular and often daily basis for some residents.

The report states that Hiqa hired UK experts to provide assistance on how residents’ care needs were being met.

Ultimately, inspectors were not assured that practices at the centre were least restrictive and for the shortest duration necessary to meet residents’ needs.

They also were not assured that the very restrictive measures and significant levels of physical interventions had a therapeutic value.

In response to the report, Redwood said it had serious concerns regarding the accuracy of the content of Hiqa’s report .

In addition, it said it was concerned by the investigative process and the means by which the findings set out had been brought into the public domain.

“Given the legal concerns raised the owners of the redwood facility have no further comment,” it said.