Posted in Personal Injury Litigation on Thursday 14 July 2016

Cantillons Solicitors were saddened to learn of the inadequate and unsafe services provided in three farm-based residential care centres for people with Autism, reported in the media this week. 

The news came following the publication of inspection reports by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). A number of inspections were carried out by HIQA at Cluain Farm, Co. Meath, Dunfirth Farm, Co Kildare and Sarshill House in Co Wexford over an 18 month period and identified serious and significant shortcomings in terms of the standard of care provided to service users. Improvements that had been recommended were not implemented, which ultimately led to the decision to cancel the registration of the three centres.  

Some of the major non-compliances identified were;

  • Inadequate safeguarding measures to ensure residents were protected from assault and felt safe living in the centre.
  • Ongoing risks to residents where some of whom were not being properly managed or responded to. 
  • Poor governance and oversight leading to negative outcome for residents.
  • Inadequate staff training and poor management of staffing resources. 
  • Staff were not trained in the administration of certain medication, in particular, epileptic medication and adrenaline. 
  • An overall failure to comply with regulatory requirements. 

HIQA also found that there had been multiple incidents of physical attacks on other residents, staff members and visitors, sometimes leading to injury. In most cases, these incidents were not reported to HIQA and no systems were put in place to prevent these incidents reoccurring.  

It must be so upsetting for the families to learn that residents were not appropriately cared for. 

Overall, in terms of these three facilities, it is disheartening and upsetting to read these stories and it is hoped that the necessary improvements will be implemented expeditiously to ensure a proper standard of care that service users deserve and a safe place of work for staff members. 

Families should be made aware that there are legal remedies available for the residents who have suffered as a result of the matters identified in the HIQA reports. 

If you would like more information, contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] 
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

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