Governance and management arrangements in disability services across the country need improvement, says HIQA

According to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), governance and management arrangements in disability services across the country need to be improved to ensure people with disabilities receive quality care.

IQA conducted 1,220 inspections of disability services over the past year and found that the majority of centers provide a good standard of care and support to people with disabilities.

However, inspectors noted that the overall level of compliance across the sector has deteriorated compared to 2020.

However, it was found that significantly more on-site inspections were also carried out in 2021 compared to the previous year.

In 2020, regulation related to governance and management was reviewed in 72 percent of inspections compared to 95 percent in 2021, also contributing to the discrepancy.

One of five inspections conducted in 2021 found that improvements were needed to the provider’s governance and management arrangements, with non-compliance increasing over the year.

HIQA found that there continue to be significant differences in levels of non-compliance in congregational settings compared to community-based settings.

There are 1,401 registered residential disability centers housing more than 9,000 people.

It has been found that residents who live in smaller, community-based homes experience a better quality of life, live in safer services, and are more likely to achieve better personal outcomes.

HIQA’s deputy chief inspector of social services said poor governance and management has a “negative impact” on the quality and safety of care and support for residents and “affects their quality of life”.

Finbarr Colfer said: “It is crucial that providers restore effective governance and oversight to ensure residents receive the quality of support to which they are entitled.

“We found that residents who live in shared apartments are more likely to experience a poorer quality of life, with notable disparities in the overall quality and safety of services provided to residents.”

He added, “In addition, a higher number of meeting venues than in previous years required improvements in the overall quality and security of the premises.”

The report said the lack of specific protections legislation puts limited obligations on providers and controllers to protect residents from abuse, investigate and take action where allegations have arisen.

The report found a deterioration in the “overall effectiveness” of protection in this sector.

Hiqa referred three safety concerns to the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Safety Office.

In one of those cases, the regulator also referred the matter to An Garda Síochána and Tusla, the Children and Families Board, “due to the nature of the concerns identified,” the report said. Governance and management arrangements in disability services across the country need improvement, says HIQA

Fry Electronics Team

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