Monday 11 December 2017

Major failings found at abuse care home

Aras Attracta
Aras Attracta

A NEW report from the health watchdog Hiqa has found continuing failings in the Aras Attracta care home in Mayo.

The facility for adults with disabilities was revealed to be the site of shocking abuse of residents with disabilities by a Prime Time special that aired last December.

A new HIQA inspection that was carried out in the home over three days in January is heavily critical.

Centre two, which contains the controversial Bungalow Three where RTE filmed the distressing images, was found to fall short of best practice in a number of areas.


Although some staff appeared well-versed in what constituted abuse of residents and how to respond to it, others were unclear on the matter.

Cleanliness problems were also noted in the home, and while inspectors were present a resident fell on a wet floor. During the inspection two bungalows were noted to smell strongly of urine.

The report also noted a lack of private space for residents to receive visitors, and some of those in the home had limited access to a phone.

HIQA highlighted that the terminology used by some staff when discussing residents was inappropriate.

One worker was heard saying "I'll activate him" when discussing activities for a resident, which HIQA inspectors deemed inappropriate.

It was also noted that some residents' personal care information was discussed in front of other residents during handovers. Medication procedures were also problematic, and during the visit inspectors had to intervene in two "near miss" incidents.

The report also highlighted that the centre was not adequately staffed at all times.

In a worrying development, inspectors were able to access different areas of the centre at around 8.20pm without meeting any staff members.

A staff member was also seen approaching a resident who needed space, causing distress, despite being told not to by a colleague.

The Herald can reveal that 70pc of HIQA visits from January 1 to March 18 were pre-arranged with management. A total of 285 inspections of nursing homes and residential centres for people with disabilities were carried out by the HSE's watchdog.

Only 87 of these were unannounced inspections. This figure includes the shocking report on Aras Attracta.


Some 186 of the visits carried out were for registration purposes during this period.

"Announced inspections allow greater participation of residents and relatives by letting them know when we will be present in the service," according to an HIQA spokesperson.

Inclusion Ireland said changes are needed in how inspections are carried out.

"It is critical that persons with a disability, families and the general public have confidence in the inspection process," a spokesperson said.


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