February 15, 2022
HSE failings in North West CHO1 reinforces need for safeguarding authority and legislation – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has expressed shock at the revelations of very serious incidents going unreported to HIQA by HSE CHO1 disability services management in the north west.

Teachta Cullinane said that this serves to again highlight the need for major legislative reform, including an Adult Safeguarding Act.

He called on the government to establish a Safeguarding Authority with a legal right of entry for safeguarding and social work teams, with the capacity to effectively oversee implementation of the legislation.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The revelations this morning of unreported incidents of extremely disturbing behaviour involving a resident of a HSE facility reflect a failure of the HSE to safely and effectively manage these services.

“This is yet another report which makes for tough reading and highlights an appalling disregard for what should be standard safeguarding practice.

“The underreporting of serious incidents since 2016 to HIQA is of grave concern. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.

“It is unacceptable that incidents of this nature would go unreported and therefore without appropriate, transparent investigation for a number of years.

“Following the Brandon Case, this again highlights the need for robust adult safeguarding legislation, which the government has delayed time and again for years now.

“The government must establish a safeguarding authority which can deliver accountability in the sector with appropriate powers to enforce the legislation and ensure proper governance in the sector along with HIQA.

“This legislation must ensure mandatory reporting of safeguarding concerns, especially harmful behaviour of this sort.

“Safeguarding teams and social workers need a legal right of entry to residential facilities to ensure all appropriate measures are in place.

“The Minister for Health must establish an overarching chief health and social care officer to progress and implement policy and legislation in this area – the consequences of failure to do so to date have been severe.”