HIQA inspection finds eight areas of 'major non-compliance' at Dublin care centre for disabled adults

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Inspectors for the Health Information and Quality Authority discovered eight areas of "major" non-compliance at a care centre for disabled adults in Dublin.

The findings were made following an unannounced two-day inspection by HIQA at the Stewarts Adults Services Centre in Palmerstown last December.

It followed a previous notice by the authority that it was seeking to cancel the centre's registration as a healthcare facility because of the operator's non-compliance with regulations.

However, inspectors visited the facility again in December, after Stewarts Care Limited wrote to HIQA to outline the actions they were taking in response to their ongoing regulatory non-compliance.

When the authority's inspectors made an unannounced visit to the facility again last year, they examined the centre based on eight outcomes.

These included the safety of the premises, the safeguarding of patients, the management of patients' medicine, the governance of the centre, and how it dealt with health and safety risks.

All eight areas were discovered to have "major" levels of non-compliance with HIQA's regulations.

Among the inspector's findings on the suitability of the premises were no arrangements to remove household waste, mould in a shower room, cobwebs in a bathroom, and broken furniture.

Inspectors also found that the health and safety of residents was not adequately maintained, promoted or protected.

According to the HIQA report, "serious concerns" were identified by in the area of fire protection, with almost two-thirds of staff at the centre found not to have taken part in a fire drill.

Staff's knowledge of what to do in the event of a fire was found to be of concern, with limited knowledge of fire assembly points, fire doors wedged open, and a lack of smoke detectors among the findings.

Meanwhile, inspectors also found that residents at the centre had not been protected against abuse, with a lack of recognition by staff of what constituted abuse and how to report it.

One resident who spoke to inspectors said they did not feel safe in their current living arrangements, and even alleged they had been assaulted in the recent past by another resident.

On two occasions, HIQA inspectors also noted residents using toilet facilities with the door open as staff members walked past, compromising their privacy and dignity.

Other findings included a mealtime that was found to be "unpleasant" for residents, while in the case of one resident with epilepsy, no healthcare plan was in place.

Inspectors also found that no appropriate system for the review and monitoring of safe medication management practices was in place, nor was there a management system to promote the delivery of safe care for residents.

In response to all of the findings, Stewarts Care Limited said it would carry out audits in each of the eight areas found to be non-compliant in order to bring them in line with HIQA regulations.

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