The first reports of inspections carried out on facilities for children with disabilities have been published by HIQA.

The most serious findings were made against a designated facility for children with disabilities in the south.

The centre was inspected in March of this year.

Four children were living at the centre at the time and each had a moderate to severe intellectual disability.

While inspectors found evidence of some good practice, the facility was found to be non-compliant in all seven areas inspected.

The report says measures to safeguard the children and protect them from abuse were not sufficiently comprehensive.

It says inspectors observed staff interacting with the children in a respectful manner, but says that there was no evidence of specific plans around the provision of personal and intimate care, or the monitoring of such care to ensure that children were safeguarded.

The report says the person in charge stated that formal processes to monitor and ensure safe care were under development.

The report says that one child in the care of the State, at the facility, had no statutory care plan. 

Every child is required to have a State plan, by law.

The report also says there was no emergency planning in place outlining the arrangements for responding to emergencies, for example in the event of an evacuation.

It found that there was little evidence of adequate procedures in place for preventing infection, for example hand washing facilities for staff, and not all staff had received training in infection control.

The report says there was no evidence of arrangements for investigating and learning from serious incidents involving children and record-keeping of incidents and accidents was described as poor.

It also found that there was not accurate record-keeping of pocket money and expenditure. 

A second designated facility for children in the South was also found to be moderately non-compliant in all areas inspected.

The inspection took place on 6 February.

It assessed areas such as health and safety, risk management as well as safeguarding and safety.

There were four residents in the facility on that date.

The report found that the risk management policy did not include measures and action in place to control the risk of unexpected absence of any of the children, accidental injury to residents, visitors or staff, aggression and violence or self-harm.

The health and safety statement was unsigned.

There were some exposed pipes in the garden which the report says children could fall over.

The emergency plan did not include a contingency plan for the total evacuation of children in the event of an emergency.

All staff had attended fire training.

Although smoke alarms were installed inspectors were concerned that there was no fire alarm.

It also found that furnishings and bedding were not fire retardant.

The report says the centre had recently been reviewed and a fire report was awaited.

A spokesperson for that centre today welcomed the reports and said safety plans are being worked and there are adequate fire safety devices in place.