O’Dowd report spurs HIQA into action
A report carried out by Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd has revealed that The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) received more than 4,600 allegations of abuse of disabled people in residential care, more than half of which involved allegations of physical abuse. The report also showed that, in addition to the allegations, 298 pieces of unsolicited information were received by Hiqa last year, but only one was passed to gardaí and none to the Office of the Ombudsman.
In response to the findings, the authority now says it is developing agreements with the gardaí and the Ombudsman after it was criticised over its handling of abuse allegations.
Commenting on the report, Deputy O’Dowd said serious issues arise in terms of safeguarding all people who are in care in nursing homes, disability centres and children’s services. “There are serious problems with the quality of care in many centres. In spite of all the thousands of notifications HIQA received, both unsolicited and mandated information, there has been no investigation by HIQA or anyone else into the allegations. There is no memorandum of understanding between the Garda and HIQA.