The HSE has said the serious concerns raised by HIQA reports published today regarding the Ballytobin residential care facility in Callan will be addressed, and the centre will remain open with its residents remaining in their home if they wish.
On Tuesday, the HSE took over management of ongoing operations at Ballytobin. Today, it issued a statement saying the welfare of 19 service users (with intellectual disabilities and other kinds of special needs) at the facility is a priority.
“The HSE became the provider following a recent decision by Camphill Communities of Ireland to accept, and not to appeal, a Notice of Decision issued to them by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), as regards cancelling the registration of its premises in Ballytobin. The HSE says it is ensuring that the serious concerns noted by HIQA will be fully addressed, with an immediate focus on safeguarding,” says the statement.
“Earlier last month, the HSE was made aware of deliberations between HIQA and the Camphill Communities of Ireland Ltd, arising from the authority’s inspections of the Camphill centre at Ballytobin. At a subsequent meeting, HIQA issued Camphill with a Notice of Decision to cancel the registration of its premises at Ballytobin. Camphill management accepted the decision of the independent regulator in this regard and waived their right of appeal.
“The HSE subsequently prepared an Action Plan and submitted it to the Chief Inspector in HIQA. The Action Plan set out interim measures being taken with the consent of the provider at Ballytobin to improve safeguarding in the centre. The actions included the allocation of an experienced HSE manager to the centre, in addition to that of additional, experienced professional staff in each of the houses on a 24 hour basis and the deployment of two HSE safeguarding officers to be based in the centre. These measures were put in place to mitigate risk.
The HSE is now managing Ballytobin and wishes to assure the public that the residential care centre will be kept open. It is the intention of the HSE to ensure that all 19 service users will remain in their home at Ballytobin, if they so wish.
“The HSE says it will ensure that any concerns raised in the HIQA Inspection Report on Ballytobin are addressed and will liaise accordingly with all relevant parties including the National office of Camphill Communities of Ireland, Tusla and An Gárda Síochána," says the statement.
“The HSE are working closely with the Camphill Communities of Ireland, employees, co-workers, residents and their families, as regards agreeing future planning and actions required at Ballytobin.
“An independent advocacy agency is co-ordinating family forums, to meet with parents and families of the 19 residents at Camphill, Ballytobin. The HSE attend these independently managed forums and will continue to do so. It is intended to convene a weekly forum with parents, to ensure that there is input and collaboration with parents and families at this time.
“The HSE will ensure that residents, their families and those employed and providing support at Ballytobin are kept fully informed as matters progress.
“The HSE works closely with the Camphill Communities of Ireland and (through Section 39 of the Health Act 2007) provides funding support to the organisation.
“A HSE review is under way, examining Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCI) across all of its locations in the Republic of Ireland. The review has a particular emphasis on improving governance within CCI at regional and national level and ensuring that services are provided, now and into the future, on a safe and sustainable basis in line with HIQA standards.”