HIQA inspections find ‘significant and urgent risks’ at Cork centre for people with disabilities

A centre for people with disabilities re-admitted a resident who had been engaging in abusive and challenging behaviour against others living there and then “inaccurately” told the HSE national safeguarding team that the resident was no longer living in the facility.

The findings are contained in two reports for No 3 Fuchsia Drive, run by the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland in Innishannon in Co Cork, with the second report outlining a notice of proposal to cancel the centre’s registration.

The first HIQA inspection took place last July and was in response to an application by the provider to register the centre.

Three people were living in the facility at the time and HIQA found a number of issues, including “significant and urgent risks identified in fire safety management, safeguarding and safety and staffing”, resulting in three urgent actions being issued to the provider.

According to the report:

“Previously, the provider had moved a resident from this designated centre on safeguarding grounds due to the number of incidents of peer-to-peer abuse that were occurring in the centre.

“However, recently the resident was readmitted into an apartment at the rear of the house, despite an allied health professional recommending an alternative living arrangement for this resident would be more suitable to meet their needs and concerns from other residents about this arrangement.”

It said no behaviour management plan or safeguarding plans were developed and “furthermore, inspectors found that the HSE national safeguarding team who were investigating previous incidents in the centre were written to and inaccurately advised that this resident of concern was no longer living in the centre and had no contact with these residents”.

Inspectors also found that there were “insufficient staff resources available to meet the health and social care needs of the residents”.

There was only one staff rostered in the evening to support up to four residents with high support needs and inspectors found another resident with significant challenging behaviours and medical needs had been relocated to another designated centre on the campus for observation and medical assessment due to inadequate staffing.

It said another resident living in the apartment was left unsupervised each evening and at night from 7.30pm until 10.30am the next day, despite the resident being risk assessed as only being safe to be alone for one hour a day.

An action plan was issued to address the issues but at a second inspection last August, HIQA found that while there had been some improvements, significant concerns had not been addressed.

“Consequently, due to sustained levels of non compliance since 2014, and the failure to respond to urgent actions following the previous inspection, a decision has been made following the inspection to issue a notice of proposal to refuse and cancel the registration of this centre to the provider the Brothers of Charity,” it said.

Another action plan was issued.

The report was one of 27 issued by the Health Information and Quality Authority, with one – into the No 2 Seaholly facility in Cork, also run by Brothers of Charity Services Ireland – finding nine non-compliances out of 20 areas reviewed. A compliance plan was provided in response.