Health Inspectors Say Clare Residential Centre Did Not Have ‘Sufficient’ Plan To Deal With Possible COVID Outbreak

Health inspectors say a South East Clare residential centre for adults with disabilities did not have a ‘sufficient’ contingency plan to respond to any possible COVID-19 outbreak.

The issues were flagged following a HIQA inspection at the Belltree residential centre in Westbury last year, the details of which have just been published.

The unannounced inspection took place on the 19th of October last, when three residents were present at the facility, with a maximum of four being able to be accommodated at any one time.


HIQA’s report says Belltree is a ‘person-centred service’ where residents enjoy ‘a good quality of life’.

However, concerns were raised by the inspector regarding risk management, fire safety arrangements and infection and prevention control procedures, particularly in the context of COVID-19.

The report noted how this was of particular concern to HIQA given ‘the past regulatory history of the centre’.

The inspector on duty documented that they were ‘not assured’ the facility’s contigency plan for any possible outbreak of the virus, despite its relatively small size, was ‘sufficient to respond to and prevent an outbreak’.

The person-in-charge on the day of the inspection confirmed there was no on site access to the amount of personal protective equipment that would be required if a resident or staff member was suspected of having COVID.

Belltree later reviewed and amended this plan to include isolation measures where necessary, along with an enhanced supply of PPE.

Of the 17 regulations the facility was assessed under on this occasion, it was found to be at least substantially compliant in 13 of those areas.

The full report can be viewed at this link.