Shared cubicles in residential home a concern, HIQA warns

Thursday 22 May 2014 22.04
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HIQA said the number and skill-mix of staff at the Stewarts premises were insufficient
HIQA said the number and skill-mix of staff at the Stewarts premises were insufficient
HIQA found issues with mixed-gender dormitories and with staffing levels
HIQA found issues with mixed-gender dormitories and with staffing levels

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has described as a "significant issue of concern" women and men with intellectual disabilities sharing cubicles in dormitories in a major residential centre.

HIQA also criticised staffing levels, the assessment of the need to use physical restraint and the practice of housing some children and adults together at the Stewarts Care campus in West Dublin.

The Stewarts Care campus in Palmerstown accommodates 175 people with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities, the majority of whom are adults.

Last December, allegations that staff had abused residents prompted an unannounced HIQA inspection. That inspection led to HIQA criticising some personal care plans for creating "the potential for inconsistent and inappropriate physical care".

Today's report of a four-day follow-up inspection highlights mixed-gender dormitories in three of the campus' 24 houses as a "significant issue of concern".

The report said the dormitories militated against adequate privacy and dignity, as female and male residents shared cubicles.

HIQA's other significant concern was the accommodation of some children in houses occupied by adults, a practice Stewarts management acknowledged was inappropriate.

HIQA said the number and skill-mix of staff were insufficient, and highlighted deficiencies in night-time supervision of care and the monitoring of care practices.

It said fire safety training was also unsatisfactory and warned that written evidence of compliance with the requirements of the statutory fire authority would be required for registration of the centre.