Pringle says latest HIQA report on Ard Greine Court raises questions

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A Donegal Deputy says he has no confidence that the HSE will act on the Brandon report into sexual abuse at Ard Gréine Court, Stranorlar.

It’s after a recent HIQA inspection reported stated that the inspector observed a resident engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour, which was not responded to by agency staff supporting them.

Deputy Thomas Pringle claims the problem isn’t with residents but with management within the HSE.

He says the body urgently needs to take responsibility……


Statement from HSE –

Ard Greine Court provides residential services for 30 persons with mild to severe Intellectual Disability. A number of residents have other presenting conditions such Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Mental Health difficulties.

There are seven bungalow style homes and one single apartment on site which are organised into four designated centres, namely – Dunwiley & Cloghan; Edencrest, Riverside & Cloghan Flat; Railway View & Finnside; Dreenan.

All four designated centres were inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) on various dates in September and October 2021 and the findings identify that improvements are required to achieve compliance with the regulations inspected across three of the four centres. The Dreenan Centre was found to compliant or substantially complaint in all regulations. The HSE has submitted detailed compliance plans to HIQA to address these issues and the improvement actions have been accepted by HIQA.

Service Improvement Programme – is being implemented to address areas of non-compliances across Ard Greine Court. The specific improvement actions implemented include:

· A Person in Charge (Clinical Nurse Manager II) has been appointed to all designated centres and the governance of centres has been further strengthened by the appointments of Clinical Nurse Managers (Clinical Nurse Manager I).

· Consistency of staffing in centres is being addressed with ongoing monitoring.

· Multidisciplinary professional supports such as Speech and Language Therapy, Psychology, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Behaviour Support, Occupational Therapy and Social Work have been assigned to the service.

· Advocacy supports are being provided to a number of residents.

· Compatibility Assessments for residents were completed. Where residents are incompatible, alternative appropriate accommodation is being planned to address this.

· A review of resident’s medical and personal plans has been undertaken.

· A Human Rights Committee has been established in Donegal to support and provide oversight to the Service.

· The Ard Greine Court Quality and Service User Safety committee, meets on a monthly basis to review all incidents.

· Safeguarding plans for each resident have been reviewed, updated and implemented in conjunction with the CHO1 Adult Safeguarding & Protection Team.

· Staff training is ongoing and is monitored on a monthly basis.

CHO1 Disability Services remains firmly committed to the development of a community based model of living and support for people with disabilities and will continue to work towards implementing this model though decongregation.

CHO1 has completed the decongregation of 112 residents from the Cregg campus in Sligo over a number of years and has commenced decongregation in other congregated settings also, namely, Cloonamahon, Sligo and the James Connolly Memorial Unit, Carndonagh.

Ard Greine Court has been identified as a priority site for decongregation. From 2019 to date a number of residents have been moved. Active planning for a number of residents to move in 2022 is under way with properties being procured and renovated to the necessary regulatory standards. Engagement and communications with all stakeholders on planning for this will commence in quarter 1 2022.

COVID-19 has brought challenges to services since the start of the pandemic including day services, community activities and contact with family and friends. It has also presented staffing challenges. Ard Greine Court has had COVID contingency plans in place throughout the pandemic and will continue to implement these as needed.

Head of Service for CHO 1 Disability Services, Edel Quinn, stated “The safeguarding of residents is our number one priority. The HSE will continue to work to ensure that robust governance, quality and safety arrangements are in place and that these systems are working effectively to ensure that person centred, safe, high quality services are provided. CHO 1 will continue to advocate for the further development of services for people with disabilities ensuring that accommodation and supports that best meets residents’ needs are in place “


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