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Inquiry needed into Care Facilities for citizens with Intellectual disabilities - Adams

12 June, 2015 - by Gerry Adams TD


HIQA report into Drumcar “deeply worrying”

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams today described the HIQA report into the unit in St. Mary’s Drumcar which has 16 patients with intellectual disabilities as “deeply worrying”.

The Sinn Féin leader repeated his call, make in March, to the Taoiseach that the government “establish as a matter of urgency a fully Independent, root-and-branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the State”.

Teachta Adams said:

“This morning’s HIQA report into the St. Mary’s facility at Drumcar for citizens with intellectual disabilities makes for depressing reading.

“It records a serious management failure to protect residents. The report, which follows an inspection in April, found major non-compliances in nine of the ten areas inspected. These included issues of governance and a failure to respond properly to allegations of abuse.

“It also notes that two management responses to HIQA criticisms were inadequate.

“The situation in Drumcar is regrettably not an isolated case. There have been a whole series of HIQA and media reports in the last year, beginning with the Aras Attracta RTE report, which have highlighted serious concerns around the management, resourcing, funding and staff behaviour in care centres across the state,.

“In March during Leaders Questions in the Dáil I raised with the Taoiseach my concerns about the care of citizens with an intellectual disability in the Redwood Care facility in County Meath. I did this after the families of several residents came to me with concerns about their care and treatment.

“In that instance the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, had said that there was a significant denial of the civil, legal and human rights of citizens at Redwood and that residents there have also been subject to severe deprivations of liberty and freedom of movement, including a locked door policy. HIQA’s December report found:

  •    Recurrent and lengthy durations of physical intervention
  •    An incident in which a patient struggled to breath and turned blue during physical restraint
  •    Medication administered by injection during episodes of challenging behaviour

“HIQA recommended no new admissions until these issues were addressed.

“Given these disturbing reports and others which have come to light in other care centres, I believe immediate action is required

“I repeat my call on the Taoiseach then to establish as a matter of urgency a fully Independent, root-and-branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the State.”

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