Doors to close by the end of the year

The Cluain Fhionnan Centre in Ballydribbeen is due to close down

AN inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) of a residential centre for adults with intellectual disabilities in Killarney has found major non-compliance with the required standard in a number of categories.

The report, released this week, was critical of the Cluain Fhionnain Centre in Ballydribbeen in relation to the provision of a safe and suitable premises as well as safeguarding and safety, both of which were deemed have major non-compliant issues while the assessment of health and safety and risk management and workforce matters were considered to be moderately non-compliant.

The effective services category was rated substantially compliant while governance and management at the centre was said to be compliant.

Cluain Fhionnain, currently home for 12 adults with intellectual disabilities, was a state-of-the-art facility when it first opened in 2001.

The inspection was carried out to monitor compliance with regulations and standards as HIQA had previously identified a range of significant issues and had highlighted to the provider the potential consequences of continued non-compliance.

The assessors found that, since the previous inspection, staff and management had introduced a range of improvements which had direct positive impacts on residents but the service was not adequate to meet needs in areas including positive behavioural support and in the provision of a therapeutic physical environment.

The inspectors, whose follow-up visit was announced in advance, noted that significant progress had been made to review and reduce restrictive practices and residents enjoyed a much greater degree of freedom as a result. Staffing arrangements had also improved and supported a more person-centred approach to care.

However, the report states, sufficient progress had not been made in a number of key areas including:

  • The systems for the identification and management of risk required review to ensure residents’ safety was prioritised.
  • The arrangements for meeting residents’ behavioural support needs in a consistent and evidence-based way were not adequate.
  • Residents continued to be accommodated in a premises which was institutional in nature and was not meeting their needs.
  • Staffing arrangements required review to ensure residents were safe and adequately supported at all times of the day and night.

In its response to the report, issued to, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, which oversees the facility, said substantial work has been undertaken to help residents move to more suitable homes in the community and 16 people have already transferred.

Cluain Fhionnan was a state-of-the-art facility when it first opened in 2001

“As the remaining residents will move to new homes this year, we are happy to now confirm that the centre will close by the end of this year,” a spokesperson said.

“We accept the remaining issues highlighted and work was already underway on many of the matters raised by HIQA”.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare noted that the report also recognises the significant changes made last year to the way care is provided at Cluain Fhionnan which has had a very positive impact on the lives of residents.

Gabrielle O’Keeffe, Head of Social Care with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, remarked: “We acknowledge and accept that the building and the service at Cluain Fhionnain are no longer fit for purpose.

“A huge amount of work has been undertaken with residents, families and other stakeholders to move towards its closure. In the interim significant work has been done in this centre to ensure that safe and appropriate care is provided for all residents.”

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