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HIQA Publish Report on Oberstown Children Campus

3rd August 2017

The Health, Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have published a report on Oberstown Children Detention Campus. The report highlights some positive examples of practice, while also outlining areas of concern.

Good interpersonal relationships between staff and children were evident. Staff were cognisant of significant life events for children and the experience of family members visiting children at the campus were mainly positive.

Children informed Inspectors of their love for school on the campus. Children were also provided with information on their rights, with access to an advocacy service. The establishment of a student council meant that collective issues for children were being raised.

The Inspection found that the complaints system was not ‘sufficiently robust.’ Prior to the Inspection, 79 complaints were made in the previous 12 months, 74 of these complaints were made by children. The Inspection found that there was no record on outcomes of complaints. 

There were 3,027 single separation incidents recorded for 2016. There were 148 incidents involving eight separate children during the period November 2016 to February 2017. There were cases of prolonged single separation for children where access to fresh air in the case of one child was recorded after eight days of initial separation, in another case it took five days and in a third case, it took seven days to access fresh air. Records for January 2017 showed that were 150 incidents of single separation, 20 of these in the case of admissions. There were 85 physical interventions, including physical restraints, during 2016.  During the calendar year 2016, 79 children were re-admitted to the campus and 19 children were re-admitted in January 2017.

Key concerns raised by the inspection report were: 
  • Management of challenging behaviour
  • Children spending prolonged times in single separation, and the lack of robust oversight in the management of incidents. There was also no document authorisation of reviews while in single separation
  • Offending Behaviour Programmes were not provided to many of the children on the campus   
  • Delays in access to external medical services
  • Poor medication management, its administration & storage 
  • Formal supervision of staff was not consistent across the units and that recording of supervision was not adequate

For More Information See HIQA's Report available here.

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