HIQA backs off from threat to close Áras Attracta but says 'concerns remain'

The HSE has submitted a plan on how it will deal with the remaining issues at the facility

HIQA backs off from threat to close Áras Attracta but says 'concerns remain'

Áras Attracta. Photo: RollingNews.ie

The health watchdog HIQA says the Áras Attracta care home is no longer under threat of closure - but stresses that concerns remain about the facility.

The Co Mayo facility has faced scrutiny after the broadcast of the Prime Time programme Inside Bungalow 3 by RTÉ in December 2014, which raised significant concerns about the treatment of residents.

A review of the facility found that the home did not respect the residents as individuals.

The institution was informed last September that its registration could be cancelled as it had consistently failed to address problems.

HIQA now says Áras Attracta can apply for registration as a care home, as improvements have been made in areas like the residents' safety and quality of life.

However, the watchdog says further action is needed in several areas - including increasing opportunities for residents to participate in education, and training staff to ensure they meet residents' needs.

Fire prevention upgrade work also needs to be completed, while the operators of the home are also being told to ensure staff files contain all necessary records.

The HSE has submitted a plan on how it will deal with these issues, and HIQA says it will continue to monitor the situation.

In a statement, HIQA said: "HIQA remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and will continue to monitor the campus closely to ensure that the provider continues to improve residents’ care, safety and quality of life.

"HIQA now expects to receive completed applications for the registration of centres in Áras Attracta and, when received, the Chief Inspector will give due consideration to these."

The Áras Attracta campus contains three designated centre, and is home to around 75 people with intellectual disabilities.