The Cluain Fhionnáin facility in Ballydribeen, which is currently home to 12 adults with intellectual disabilities, is to close “imminently” according to a report published this week by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

Based on an inspection that was carried out in December 2017, HIQA found non-compliance in a number of categories, including ‘safe and suitable premises’ and ‘health and safety’.  The centre is also described as “institutional in nature” and it is stated that it “did not meet the needs of the residents”.

According to the report: “The provider’s own audit report of October 2017 referred to the centre as ‘bleak’, ‘dated’ and ‘in a poor state of repair’. Inspectors found that this assessment continued to be accurate.”

The close has been confirmed by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, who say they welcome the report’s findings.

“We acknowledge and accept that the building and the service at Cluain Fhionnáin are no longer fit for purpose,” said Gabrielle O’Keeffe, Head of Social Care with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. “A huge amount of work has been undertaken with residents, families and other stakeholders to move towards its closure. In the interim, significant work has been done in this centre to ensure that safe and appropriate care is provided for all residents.”

Cluain Fhionnáin has long been slated for closure but it now appears as though it will finally shut its doors in 2018, as soon as the remaining residents move on.

“Substantial work has been undertaken to help residents move to more suitable homes in the community, and we are delighted that 16 residents have already moved to their new homes, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said in a statement. “As the remaining residents will move to new homes this year, we are happy to now confirm that the centre will close by the end of this year.

“We accept the remaining issues highlighted in today’s report, and work was already underway on many of the matters raised by HIQA. The report also recognises the significant changes made last year to the way care is provided at Cluain Fhionnan which has had a very positive impact on the lives of residents. The report states that “residents were experiencing a better quality of life than before despite living in an institutional setting” and also highlights “positive and enriching” changes for residents. We would like to thank the staff involved in this work.

They added that despite the imminent closure, substantial work has been done to address any issues identified in this and other HIQA inspections. For example, they say, a plan is in place to have additional staff working at the centre at night, and additional support from a social care worker and a psychologist has been arranged.

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