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Residents in St John of God home were punched and kicked – inspection report, Shocking to read more Abuse, on our Vulnerable.

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Residents in a St John of God centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Dublin were subject to physical assaults including being punched, kicked, hit and having hair pulled, an inspection report reveals today.

A resident ” appeared frightened and was shaking and sobbing”, the report on the Liffey 4 residential centre  in Tallaght , Dublin said.

The violent behaviour from another resident was revealed to inspectors to the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) in its inspection in early November.

Residents reported having their bedroom doors kicked in and they ended up too frightened to leave their rooms.

“Verbal abusive incidents such as being cursed and shouted at also had an impact on residents.

“The impact was increased incidences of self-injurious behaviours and withdrawing to bedrooms as residents did not feel safe in communal areas.”

The behaviour persisted despite complaints by the residents as well as their relatives and staff.

It said despite the considerable evidence to demonstrate there were numerous communication channels, oversight arrangements and reporting mechanisms that should have alerted and informed the provider to the untenable situation in the centre, it was not demonstrated that the provider had taken timely or appropriate action to address these risks to ensure a safe service for residents.

The inspectors said St John of God had failed to fully protect the residents and this raised concerns about its fitness as a provider of this form of care.

There were three residents in the house inspected by the Hiqa.

While staff did their best the residents were suffering considerable stress and fear .

The problems included residents who were incompatible and also lack of staff as well as over-reliance on agency workers.

Hiqa said it has to take the unusual step of issuing St John of God with an urgent compliance plan and this led to staff numbers being increased providing one-to-one support for each of the residents.

The chief inspector met with senior staff from St John of Gods and also alerted the HSE’s national disability safeguarding office.

St John of God in its compliance plan said it agreed that the current dynamic in the house as not in line with their will and preference and it would transfer one of the residents to a more appropriate facility.

It said the additional staffing provided enhanced protection to the residents, particularly around safety within their own bedrooms.

It aid that with  the introduction of additional staffing the residents and their rights are better protected, in particular in relation to safety within their own bedrooms.

There have been no further such incidents as each resident has a 1:1 staffing.

Resident meetings continue to take place each week where residents are given the opportunity to have a say in what is happening in their own home

.Safeguarding plans have been resubmitted to HSE safeguarding teams which have been agreed and closed for review until late February 2023 at which time one resident will have moved.

The revised safeguarding plans are aimed at protecting resident’s rights and keeping them safe from abuse.With the introduction of additional staffing we are in a position to ensure effective daily plans are in place that will allow the residents access to all areas of their home as they choose.

 The frontline staff and Person in Charge are acutely aware of the need to ensure the residents can have free access to all areas of their home as they wish. Residents are free to choose where and when they want to have meals, engage in recreational activities at home and in the community. 

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