11 Aug 2022

HIQA call for improved written policies at Kilkenny disability services

Well cared for: All residents were content and comfortable


A number of disability services in Kilkenny are planning improvements to management systems, following the recommendations of HIQA inspectors.

Two centres were found to be ‘non-compliant’ in Kilkenny, in reports released last week, however in all cases the reports said residents were receiving good quality care and were content in the centres.
HIQA reported that in a centre run by SOS Kilkenny CLG, non-compliances were identified in the areas of governance and management, admissions and contract for the provisions of services, and written policies and procedures.

In a centre run by Saint Patrick’s Centre (Kilkenny), non-compliances were found relating to personal possessions and written policies and procedures, HIQA reported.

Good governance
The service provided by St Patrick’s Centre (Kilkenny) at Lunula was found to have overall good governance, by HIQA.

The inspector found that there was good governance and management structures and systems in place to ensure that the service provided was safe and of good quality for the residents. However, improvements were required in ensuring that policies and procedures were up to date.
Based on what the inspector observed, what residents and staff communicated and reviewing documentation, it was evident that residents were receiving good quality care. They appeared content, comfortable and well cared for.

However, while there was evidence of the establishment of working groups and the review of policies, a number of policies were out of date and required review such as the residents' finance policy, the policy on staff recruitment, the policy on health and safety and monitoring and documenting nutritional intake.

The provider had suitable fire safety equipment in place with regular maintenance carried out, staff training was in place and personal evacuation plans were completed for each resident. Fire drills needed further work.

There were systems in place to manage residents’ finances. However, improvement was required to ensure that residents were supported to manage their own financial affairs.
In response to the report, the service provider is currently developing the new policy, which will be based on a person centred approach, including the SPC Personal Planning Framework and also individual assessments for people supported.

Quality Service
A respite centre operated by SOS Kilkenny in Melville Heights was described as providing a good quality of service to the two individuals availing of respite there.

Each resident was supported in a person centered manner that was in keeping with their assessed needs. Inspectors did, however, say some minor improvements were required in documentation.
HIQA inspectors reported an appropriate number and skill mix of staff to meet the residents assessed needs and the provider ensured continuity of care with an established staff team.

The staff completed training and received regular formal and informal supervision and ongoing support from the person in charge and the team leader.

Audit Schedule
However, while there was a clearly defined management structure, the management systems were not consistent nor being effectively monitored.
The six monthly unannounced provider audits had taken place as per the regulation, however, there was no system in place for areas identified in need of improvement or a system to monitor progress.
There was no contract for the provision of services available for either resident in both premises.
The inspectors also found that a number of the provider’s written policies and procedures had not been reviewed as required by the regulations.

Annual Review
The provider informed the inspectors that an annual review had been carried out in the week before the inspection and this was almost complete.
The service provider also told HIQA they have completed a schedule to ensure all six-monthly quality and assurance audits are completed and actioned in a timely manner.
Along with this, a contract of provision has been completed and sent to residents’ families for review.

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