HIQA report highly critical of HSE-run Killarney centre for the disabled

HIQA has published a highly critical report of a residential centre for people with physical and mental disabilities in Kerry.


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In an unannounced inspection of Cluain Fhionnain centre in Killarney, which houses 21 residents, HIQA found that of the eight classifications of care given,  the centre was majorly non-compliant in six and only compliant in one.

The inspection was carried out in August.

Cluain Fhionnain caters for people with physical and intellectual disabilities in Ballydribeen, Killarney and has been listed for closure by the HSE with the remaining 21 patients transitioned to community living.

This was to have happened by September, but the HSE has missed two deadlines for closure and the inspectors found that not a single resident was transferred to the community in 2016 and that the third deadline for closure of March 2017 is likely to be missed.

The report also found that despite a transition team being in place for 2 years that there was little evidence in the centre of normal routines of daily living or how residents were prepared and ready for life in the community.

If found many aspects of daily living are denied to residents including access to kitchenettes, personal shopping, laundry, hygiene and shaving.

HIQA also found repeated failings that were evident on previous inspections, including management of complaints, personal plans and risk assessments, poor staff attendance at training for fire safety manual handling and challenging behaviour.

Staff at the centre confirmed that they were not recording complaints received.

Hiqa inspectors also reported that while they observed some staff showing kindness and a caring attitude to residents that staff were unable to tell inspectors which resident was sleeping in a particular bed and one resident was spoken and described to inspectors as “special” rather than by his given name.

The HSE has welcomed the findings of the report and acknowledged that the model of care at Cluain Fhionnain is institutional.

It said a closure plan is currently being finalised and the centre will close in 2017 and that since the Hiqa inspection,  a comprehensive action plan to address the required improvements is being implemented and a number of the key issues identified have already been addressed.