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Residents were restrained 78 times over a ten week period, and some were spat at by other residents at a County Kildare residential centre, it has been revealed.
A report which was published yesterday by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), said verbal aggressions and attempted physical agression were a daily occurrence in the Broadleaf Manor house in Allenwood.
“A resident submitted a complaint to the provider stating that they felt the centre was no longer their home and that they cannot eat anymore. Residents had been spat at by other residents,” said the report.
“Inspectors identified that the primary purpose for the additional staff was to stand between residents and physically intervene to prevent assaults from occurring. As a result, there remained a high level of physical restraint in the centre,” it said.
In one incident a resident was restrained for a total of 40 minutes.
In response to the report, Nua Healthcare said a restraint free environment was promoted in so far as was possible. It said that if restraint is used, it is applied in accordance with national policy and evidence based practice.
However, it said re-education is being provided to all staff to ensure they understand the restraints' procedure and physical intervention is never the primary intervention.
A full review of the procedure is also being undertaken. The provider also highlighted a number of other measures it was undertaking and undertook to protect residents from all forms of abuse.
This was the fourth inspection of the centre. In February 2017, an unannounced inspection was conducted.
HIQA said this inspection identified significant failures in the quality and care provided to residents including risk management, and the management of behaviours that challenge.
Inspectors also found inadequate governance and oversight to ensure a safe and good quality service.
“Given the serious concerns regarding the quality of the service being provided, HIQA took the extraordinary action of issuing a warning letter to Nua Healthcare Services,” said the report.
The service provider then submitted a plan, which outlined the actions it would take in response. All actions were due to be completed by October 6 2017, with some due to be in place by the day of inspection.
The latest inspection, on May 2, was undertaken to ascertain if these actions had been effective.
HIQA said that while the provider had taken some action following the last inspection, not all actions had been completed within the agreed time frame.
“Fundamentally, inspectors found that the provider had failed in ensuring that residents were safe,” it said.
The cleanliness of the centre and fire managment systems were also questioned.
Nua Healthcare said it aimed to protect all residents from all forms of abuse, its systems have been reviewed and improved, and additional resources have been introduced.
Meanwhile, HIQA also raised concerns following an inspection of Nua Healthcare’s Chapel View centre in January.
In a report, also released yesterday, it said residents and their families spoke positively about the service they received.
“However, inspection findings demonstrated that significant improvement was still required to ensure that a safe and quality service was provided,” it said.
HIQA raised concerns about management systems, staffing levels, admissions, and the lack of consistent postive behaviour support.
The provider undertook to address these concerns.