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Investigation into intellectual disability services body

Added: Friday, December 06, 2013

An organisation providing services for persons with intellectual disability in the eastern region confirmed last night it has established an investigation into allegations made

about the standard of care provided to some of its clients.

The StewartsCare organisation said that it was “in receipt of reports/observations that contain allegations of neglectful or abusive practices in relation to the way services are delivered to a number of service users��?.

Stewarts provides services for persons with intellectual disability and has a main campus in Palmerstown in Dublin as well as other ancillary facilities in west Dublin, Kildare and Meath.

It is understood concerns were raised by a number of students from Trinity College Dublin who had been on placement in its intellectual disability services that some of the situtations they witnessed could constitute abuse.

Highly placed sources said that allegations made by the students included shower doors not being closed while a person was being showered, persons being locked out of their bungalows and clients being spoken of as if they were not present.

It is understood the incidents highlighted by the students were alleged to have taken place at the end of last year and in the early part of 2013.

In a statement issued to The Irish Times last night Stewarts said its management had informed the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa)and the Health Service Executive it had received reports of alleged neglectful or abusive practices.

It is understood that some parents of young people with intellectual disability have also been told by Stewarts about the allegations which have been made.

Stewarts confirmed in its statement that “an investigation process has been initiated and further developments will be predicated on the outcome of this��?.

The HSE said last night that its newly appointed head of operations of disability services of its social care division, Marion Meany, had been in discussion with the service provider (StewartsCare) yesterday on the issue regarding the concerns raised by the placement students “and has been fully briefed as to their action plan��?.

Stewarts was established in 1869 in Dublin to provide for the education, training, and maintenance of children with a mental handicap from across the island of Ireland.

Stewarts provides extensive on-site and community-based services for clients.

The organisation supports over 300 residents, and provides wide-ranging services for some 600 clients including children and adult day attenders.

Stewarts also offers a full range of pre-school services for two- to five-year-old children with a developmental delay.

The Irish Times