HIQA report finds 'significant risks to health, safety and wellbeing' of residents at HSE disability centres

Inclusion Ireland CEO says many centres “not appropriate places for people to live” following health watchdog findings

Nine HSE-run residential centres have not been providing the correct safeguards for adults with disabilities according to the latest HIQA published inspection reports.

In one centre in Donegal, HIQA found that allegations of abuse were not being reported or investigated, meaning vulnerable adults were not protected.

Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly said many centres are not safe for residents.

“The message is clearly that many, many of these centres are not appropriate places for people to live,” he said.

“I don’t understand why it is OK for persons with a disability to experience assault, often on a daily basis according to these reports.”

"It is a major issue that the Government is not investing appropriately in moving people out of these centres and in changing the way that we are dependent on institutionalised models of support for persons with a disability," said Mr Connolly.

Mr Connolly also raised concerns regarding the centres that were able to pass the inspections.

He said: "Some of these models, while they are passing HIQA inspections, are still quite segregated from the community, they are still quite institutionalised in some of their approaches.

"Yes they are moving more towards a person-centred approach, but it's certainly not safe to say that people have the life that you and I take for granted in these centres, even when they are compliant with HIQA."

Mr Connolly said he is particularly disappointed in the findings due to the fact that centres have now had five years to reach the required level of compliance.