HIQA report reveals significant safeguarding breaches at Kilkenny care centre at Ballytobin

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Camphill, Ballytobin

A report published by the health and safety watchdog, HIQA, into a care centre at Ballytobin refers to ‘a psychologically and physically abusive situation’.
The centre was previously operated by the Camphill Communities of Ireland. Due to high levels of non compliance and risk to residents HIQA cancelled the registration of the centre in May and the HSE took over the running of the centre.
The inspection took place in July. The focus was altered due ‘to significant safeguarding breaches, which occurred on the previous day and were ongoing during the inspection’. The findings of the report stated that HIQA was informed of the event by the HSE. The inspection therefore focused on safeguarding, goveranance and staffing .
Inspectors met with a number of residents, staff, and the person in charge, the safeguarding officer and the independent advocate who was supporting the residents during this period.
According to the report as residents were already dealing with significant recent changes in the centre direct contact with residents was limited to minimise further distress.
The report also referred to a situation which was ‘both physically and psychologically abusive to a resident’.
“This incident took place after the HSE took over the running of the centre and continued for some hours. It is of concern to HIQA that during that time no management in the centre were alerted to the situation by agency or employed staff present at the time in order to protect the resident,” the report said.
“It is acknowledged that when the managers were alerted immediate action was taken and the person responsible suspended from duty in accordance with the requirements for the protection of vulnerable adults. However, due to the status of the person this matter can only be fully investigated and dealt with by the previous provider.”
The report went on to say that there was a ‘deliberate lack of adherence’ to the interim safeguarding plan following this situation.
Two co-workers living in one unit and two others who were requested not to enter in the interests of residents’ safety, pending full due process investigations and without prejudice, failed to cooperate. HIQA said this ‘placed residents at potential of serious risk’ and this ‘ultimately necessitated the traumantic and immediate removal’ of some residents for their protection.