Fine Gael TD for Meath East Regina Doherty has said today (Thursday) the shocking HIQA Report on the Redwood Extended Care Facility demonstrates the urgent need for Safeguarding legislation for vulnerable adults. HIQA found 772 incidents of physical restraint within an 11 month period at Redwood.
“Legislation would provide for clear powers of investigation and prosecution to deal with these horrible revelations. It would result in clear demarcation of roles for statutory agencies and clear definitions of offences relating to the abuse of vulnerable adults.
“The well-being and interests of residents would also be well-served by enhanced and complimentary legislation that enshrines in law the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, a number of whom are in receipt of care services. The legislation would be similar to that in respect of child protection.
“HIQA raised this issue with the Department of Health and at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children of which I am a member, and they believe the development of more effective legislation and underpinning national policies would go some way in addressing this issue.
“Clearly something is very very wrong and we need to act now. We will not tolerate the revelations contained in the HIQA report, which are compounded by Tuesday’s Prime Time programme. We are clearly failing patients.
“Inspectors found that there was a significant denial of residents’ civil, legal and human rights and a lack of adequate safeguards to ensure that the deprivation of and restriction of resident liberty was lawful and/or in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law.
“They found that residents did not have freedom to exercise choice and control in their daily lives and saw residents who were subjected to a locked door policy, and the nurse manager informed inspectors that this was for their own safety or the safety of others.
“Inspectors read records where up to eight staff were involved in the restraint of residents and inspectors observed an incident where a resident was restrained and there were 13 staff members present for the intervention.
“HIQA needs more power and patients’ safety needs to covered by legislation because the HSE Patient Safety department are sadly lacking.
“This needs to happen urgently”