Audit of Client Protection in Disability Services

(27 Aug 2009)

Following on from the McCoy Report the Health Services Executive has committed to commissioning an audit of incidents of abuse in residential and day services for people with an Intellectual Disability. This will include services provided by both statutory and non statutory providers. The audit is to commence in 2009 and will include a review of policies ad procedures in relation to the management and investigation of abuse in intellectual disability services.

It had been planned to engage an external consultant to carry out the audit. However, in the context of the financial constraints on the Health Services Executive in 2009, the audit will now be carried out by the Population Health Directorate of the Health Services Executive. Work has commenced on the development of a questionnaire for completion by the agencies which will include the following:

   •  General information on the institution/organisation
   •  Determination of Client Protection procedures in the institution
   •  Current staff training with regard to Client Protection, and future
      training requirements
   • Examination of aggregate data specifically requesting the following:
      1. Total number of clients for whom abuse reported;
      2. Total number of allegations of abuse;
      3. Total number of allegations referred to HSE or Garda Siochana for further investigation.

Consideration now needs to be given to ethical issues in relation to the study particularly around the collection of sensitive client data in the wake of the Ryan Report.

It is envisaged that Phase 1 of the Audit i.e. the issuing of the questionnaire and review of Policies and Procedures will be completed in the autumn of 2009, with Phase 2 of the audit following up interviews with the Agency staff to be completed early in 2010.

Update October 2009

Presentation made to the National Federation General Assembly on 30th September 2009.



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