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Meal times at intellectual disability centre "distressing" report found

A subsequent report showed a major improvement.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

AN INSPECTION INTO a residential centre for adults with intellectual disabilities has found that meals were served in a “distressing” manner.

The report into the Aras Attracta centre in Swinford in Mayo had almost 100 residents when an unannounced HIQA inspectors showed up. The HSE says that the inspection came about in response to the death of a resident.

The two-day inspection focused on nutritional need and restrictive techniques. The report says that inspectors were concerned that practice in both areas needed widespread improvement.

It found no evidence that supplements designed to keep residents above the minimum weights were being administered and that meal times were a particularly unpleasant time.

Residents were not offered drinks, had choice of foods limited and were being spoonfed too quickly.

Some residents went 15 hours without food to facilitate staff rosters.

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The person in charge was later replaced and a subsequent inspection found major improvements at the centre.

The HSE says that families need not be worried as all of HIQA’s recommendations have been implemented.

“Residents and their families can be assured that all actions required by HIQA have been implemented and that management and staff will continue to work with residents and their families to provide the highest standards of care in the unit.”

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