Report found breaches in care standards at Aras Attracta Swinford

HSE assures residents and families significant improvements made

The HSE has issued a statement in response to a newly published HIQA report which was critical of care standards at Aras Attracta in Swinford.

HIQA is the body responsible for inspecting and reporting on care standards in health and social service providers.

The report showed HIQA inspectors found major non-compliances with care standards during a visit to the residential care centre for adults with intellectual disabilities, on February 25 and 26 last.

These issues have since been addressed and HIQA has noted considerable improvements at the centre.

HIQA said the inspection was carried out after certain, unsolicited information on the centre was provided to the health watchdog.

In its statement today, the HSE said the inspections took place following the death of a resident.

The HSE said they cannot comment on the death of the resident, the cause of which is unknown, until the coronory process concludes.

The HSE outlined that 52 of 59 recommendations made by HIQA have been carried out and the remaining seven are underway.

Some of the main areas of concern in the report related to mealtimes and nutrition.

Inspectors found mealtimes were “not a pleasant experience”.

Some residents were rushed through their meal, food was served cold, and in some instances, the dignity of residents was not respected.

A number of residents were fed spoonfuls of food in quick succession before they could swallow the previous spoonful.

Some staff hurried residents by repeatedly asking “are you ready?”

HIQA inspectors on the day asked the person in charge of the centre to observe the mealtime and she described it as “difficult and distressing”.

A number of residents were underweight and had been prescribed fortified diets. However, there was no evidence or records of these diets being adherred to.

Inspectors noted that most staff interacted with residents in a kind, caring, respectful and patient manner. However, they were concerned about the level of dignity and respect displayed by some staff at mealtimes.

They were also concerned by the use of seclusion in a bedroom as a means to respond to behavioural issues in a resident, which didn't comply with the centre's policy.

HIQA set out a number of actions for the centre to improve standards.

On a second inspection carried out on May 26 and 27, inspectors noted a “significant improvement” in relation to their areas of concern.

There were still some non-compliances but these were moderate, rather than major.

It its statement circulated today, the HSE welcomed the publication of the reports.

They moved to reassure residents and their families that all actions required by HIQA have been implemented and “management and staff will continue to work with residents and their families to provide the highest standards of care in the unit”.

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