Inadequate video surveillance, weak infection control and inadequate staffing have emerged as concerns in a series of investigative reports on disability centres.

Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) inspectors identified violations of regulations and standards in 15 of the 33 centers.

A high level of non-compliance was identified at a center operated by Resilience Healthcare Limited. Improvements in fire safety measures, facilities and staff training were needed.

Non-compliance was recorded at two centers operated by Stewarts Care Limited. Across these two centers, improvements were needed in resident behavior support plans, staffing, training, complaint management, and infection control arrangements.

The center operated by Trinity Support and Care Services Limited was not staffed to ensure consistent care was provided to its residents. In addition, improvements were needed to help residents access educational and employment opportunities, and providers had to improve their management of restrictive practices at centers.

Centers run by four providers, the Cheshire Foundation of Ireland, Rehabilitation Group, Nua Health Care Services Limited, and St Catherine’s Association CLG, were found to be understaffed.

A center run by St Hilda’s Services was found to have violated infection control protocols.

Restrictions and the use of video surveillance have affected residents’ rights and living arrangements at the center run by St. Michael’s House.

At the center run by the St. Joseph Foundation, the absence of personnel undermined the center’s governance and management.

Two centers operated by Saint John of God Community Services CLG required facility repairs and maintenance to ensure accessibility for residents.

Out of 33 inspections, Hiqa inspectors found a generally good level of compliance with regulations and standards at 18 centers operated by a number of providers, including: Muiríosa Foundation, Nua Healthcare Services Limited, Official Center for Independent Living CLG, Peamount Healthcare, Praxis Care, Redwood Extended Care Facility Unlimited Company, Saint John of God Community Services CLG, St Joseph’s Foundation, St Michael’s House, St Paul’s Child and Family Care Center Designated Activity Company, Stepping Stones Residential Care Limited, Three Steps Limited, The Cheshire Foundation in Ireland, and Western Care Association.

An example of good practice was seen at a center in Laos run by the Muiriosa Foundation. Residents talked about personal goals and plans to achieve these in the coming months. A resident proudly displayed the Inspector’s Medal earned through participation in the Special Olympics, while another showed off her jewelry collection and how she kept it safe and secure.

At Offaly’s Center, operated by the Offaly Center for Independent Living CLG, residents were involved in the day-to-day running of the center, choosing a name for each bedroom and displaying it on a plate outside the room. The inhabitants lived an active life and were involved in various activities. They said the center is a “home away from home”.

Inspectors who visited the center run by St Michael’s House in Dublin found that residents were receiving support to develop independent living skills such as preparing simple meals. They were also encouraged to actively participate in the local community. Residents spoke to inspectors of their goals and spoke positively about the support provided by staff. They also talked about their plans for the coming months, including attending concerts and going on vacation.

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