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Creche inspection by HSE-how many inspectors needed


B

birthday

Just 37 inspectors available to monitor 4,700 creches and preschools

Just 37 inspectors available to monitor 4,700 creches and preschools - Social Affairs & News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times - Mon, Jun 03, 2013

''Similarly, there is no inspector in Co Louth (116 creches) or – until last month – in Dublin’s south city area (129 creches). Some childcare facilities have not been examined by officials for four years or more''.


''They included Limerick (five inspectors for 247 creches), Galway (five for 306 creches) and Mayo (three for 136 creches)''.

An interview on RTE earlier in the week with HSE indvidual responsible for Quality did not reveal that she thought there was a shortage of inspectors. This was interesting because much kneejerk reaction since has assumed that this is the nub of the problem. I suspect that there might be some small localised problems but this I suspect that the core issue reflects a deep malaise within the HSE which will only ever be solved by replacing incompetent management within that body.
Anyway, finally we seem to have some data on the number of inspectors who, I understand, are
public health nurses and presumably exclusively assigned to this area.

Looking at these figures, I wondered:

a) Is the inspection system really county-based? Could there be potential conflict of interest here? Can we find out exactly how many managers and how many inspectors there are?

b) How many inspections per week are carried out by each inspector? Some counties appear to have about 50-60 facilities per inspector which would indicate that one or two inspections per week per individual might be the norm.
Is this reasonable? Seems a bit low to me.

c) Is there more than one type of inspection? Given that some facilities have not been inspected in four years, would it make sense to normal people to do a drive-by inspection in cases where there was a backlog developing to serve as a reminder at least that the inspection service was in existence and any gross irregularities could be spotted.

d) Why have we paid enormous tax-free lump sums to HSE staff along with enhanced pensions to retire early if it means that we cannot afford to appoint staff to inspect crèches at least every four years especially when crèches have been paid taxpayers money?

e) Are there conflict of interest rules/standards for HSE in this area? Are HSE staff allowed to own childcare facilities, do inspectors have to declare any conflict of interest?

f) The referendum on childrens' rights (2012)- is there anything more to say?

g) Should HIQA take over the inspection? Would they be bound to employ the HSE managers?

This whole affair seems to demonstrate the potential for massive greed in some parts of the private sector, the necessity of regulation, and the massive inability of HSE management to deploy scare resources in an appropriate manner along with the HSE capacity to forever talk about reform and efficiency but to avoid responsibility on a regular basis.

In summary, I believe the only remedy is for severe penalties for serious breaches of regulations in this area along with significant reform of HSE structures involving wholesale redundancies of incompetent HSE management.
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,790
Very good points.

Sometimes the quality of the inspection is what matters, and it seems that the HSE inspections left a lot to be desired

In the UK, OFSTED (the school inspection body) inspects pre-school.

Our school inspections are modelled on OFSTED and Ruairi Quinn increased the number of inspectors

Could some of them not inspect creches?

They have a whole different approach to the box-ticking environmental heath approach

They also have various different and unpredictable inspection modes--Whole School, Subject Based, Unnanounced Drive-By

Something like this could be adapted for creches

In schools there are the usual visits from auditors and environment people--but these visits have nothing to do with the core inspection system that is about how teachers are teaching and how they're relating to their students

Also school inspectors can spend up to a week in schools, to pick up the vibe in corridors, watch the form, etc

I'm not saying it would have to be that long in creches, but neither should it be a quick visit checking plumbing, fridges and scuffed carpets....
 
B

birthday

Very good points.

Sometimes the quality of the inspection is what matters, and it seems that the HSE inspections left a lot to be desired

In the UK, OFSTED (the school inspection body) inspects pre-school.

Our school inspections are modelled on OFSTED and Ruairi Quinn increased the number of inspectors

Could some of them not inspect creches?

They have a whole different approach to the box-ticking environmental heath approach

They also have various different and unpredictable inspection modes--Whole School, Subject Based, Unnanounced Drive-By

Something like this could be adapted for creches

In schools there are the usual visits from auditors and environment people--but these visits have nothing to do with the core inspection system that is about how teachers are teaching and how they're relating to their students

Also school inspectors can spend up to a week in schools, to pick up the vibe in corridors, watch the form, etc

I'm not saying it would have to be that long in creches, but neither should it be a quick visit checking plumbing, fridges and scuffed carpets....
I understand that the HSE inspectors are public health nurses and believe that this probably makes sense on some levels.
Perhaps HIQA would be a better model-I am thinking of nursing home inspection here.
Did HIQA recruit extensively outside HSE, I wonder to avoid the HSE mindset creeping in to the organisation i.e ''we are reviewing, we are putting in place new standards...always in the future mentality''

I am very surprised that the drive-by option has not been utilised when a facility has not been inspected in four years!
 

R3volution_R3ady

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,370
I'd say we need at least another 20,000 PS....feck it, raise it to 30k just to make sure!
 
B

birthday

Yeah it's a nightmare.

More PS needed because of massive ****-ups, greed and exploitation by the private sector. Again.
Do you not think the absence of any inspection of some facilities over a four year period is a 'massive **** up'?
Or paying huge tax-free lump sums to retiring PS leaving no money to employ crèche inspectors is a 'massive **** up'?
Would you like to transfer the NCT inspection to the PS and pay any additional costs associated with such a move?

Or are you so blinkered by your hatred of the whole private sector that you are unable to find fault anywhere within our PS even if this involves ignoring massive waste, inefficiency and diversion of resources from those most requiring aid from the public finances?
 

niall78

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
11,285
Do you not think the absence of any inspection of some facilities over a four year period is a 'massive **** up'?
Or paying huge tax-free lump sums to retiring PS leaving no money to employ crèche inspectors is a 'massive **** up'?
Would you like to transfer the NCT inspection to the PS and pay any additional costs associated with such a move?

Or are you so blinkered by your hatred of the whole private sector that you are unable to find fault anywhere within our PS even if this involves ignoring massive waste, inefficiency and diversion of resources from those most requiring aid from the public finances?
I am private sector.

The difference between us is I see a massive failure by state supported 'private' industry and apportion blame where it rightfully lies. With the owners, operators and managers.

You see the same massive failure but blame the PS for lack of regulation or inspections of these 'private' businesses. Basically admitting that these 'private' industries were completely incapable of operating within the law or acting on common decency without massive state oversight and intervention.

You now want to improve inspections by further cutting the PS and reducing its resources. You suffer from fuzzy logic I think.
 
B

birthday

I am private sector.

The difference between us is I see a massive failure by state supported 'private' industry and apportion blame where it rightfully lies. With the owners, operators and managers.

You see the same massive failure but blame the PS for lack of regulation or inspections of these 'private' businesses. Basically admitting that these 'private' industries were completely incapable of operating within the law or acting on common decency without massive state oversight and intervention.

You now want to improve inspections by further cutting the PS and reducing its resources. You suffer from fuzzy logic I think.
Not at all. It is you who appear utterly blinkered.
My post was upfront about the excessive greed in this particular section of the private sector.
It needs regulation. The taxpayer is subsidising the private sector here some of whom who are breaching regulations and worse.
At the same time the taxpayer is paying for regulation and apparently not getting it.

You are also blatantly misrepresenting me by stating that I 'want to cut PS and reduce its resources'?

I would like to see effective use of resources. Paying massive tax-free lump sums to retiring PS while enough inspectors cannot be recruited (if needed) does not make much sense. Apparently south Dublin had no inspector for months.
In the interview that I heard, The representative from HSE was pressed by RTE to state that there were not enough inspectors. She repeatedly refused to do this. The media have indicated this is a problem. Where does the truth lie?
How efficient is the inspection system?

Not inspecting a facility for four years demonstrates some degree of oversight or incompetence and you talk of massive state intervention and oversight? Four years?
My suggestion was to move the inspection service to another state agency with demonstrated efficacy in this area and get rid of incompetent HSE management.
Your fuzzy logic seems to indicate that the taxpayer has no right to question
a) why they are subsidising private enterprise that breaches regulations
b) the efficiency or otherwise of the taxpayer funded inspection system for such facilities
 

johnfás

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Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
2,727
Huge scope for an enterprising individual to establish a private standards agency which proper crèches concerned about their reputation would obviously sign up to be inspected by.
 

gatsbygirl20

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
22,790
I understand that the HSE inspectors are public health nurses and believe that this probably makes sense on some levels.
Perhaps HIQA would be a better model-I am thinking of nursing home inspection here.
Did HIQA recruit extensively outside HSE, I wonder to avoid the HSE mindset creeping in to the organisation i.e ''we are reviewing, we are putting in place new standards...always in the future mentality''

I am very surprised that the drive-by option has not been utilised when a facility has not been inspected in four years!
I'm not sure that HIQA would be any better

The thing about good inspection systems is that they are not supposed to be predictable or fall into a complacent pattern, where everybody knows the score and wants a quiet predictable life: "We're getting ready for our annual inspection" type of thing.

Last year my school had 4 different kinds of inspections (including two drive-bys).

It had no inspections for 18 months before that

In a way that is how inspections are supposed to work. You never know when you'll get one. You're always supposed to be "inspection ready"

But there is no way that in the present cutbacks that every creche in the country can be inspected every six months, say. There just isn't the staff. And I'm not even sure that it is a good use of scarce resources.

Plus, will it make any difference? In schools, when a school gets a bad report, everyone is very upset and falling over themselves to put everything right before the inspectors come back.

What amazed me was the way a creche in the South of Ireland had FOUR inspections over unsafe doors that gave the children access to the road outside. The inspectors came back four times but nothing was done.

How can this be? Do these people not care? Are they figuring the bottom line "Ah, sure, I'll only get a fine. It's worth toughing it out"

Of course if the reports were online, which the HSE didn't bother doing, it would have put the skids under that particular creche, as everyone could have seen how careless they were....

But just having more or more frequent inspections won't change anything if some of these private businesses don't give a fekk what kind of a report they get, or unless the HSE start closing creches which refuse to get their house in order pretty sharpish.
 

Public Enemy No 1

New member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
1
Birthday.... those 'facts' are not correct! there may be 3 posts in Mayo or Five in Limerick and Galway but they are not full time. Also Mayo and Galway HSE inspectors are the only Inspectors in the country who Carry out a FULL inspections and are not done jointly with EHO's. The figures you quote do not count the EHO staffing. Therefore the staffing involved in HSE inspections in these counties is far behind others. It's easy to blame the Inspectors and tar us all with the one brush. It's sad that the media left out the other side of the story.. how the pre-school Inspectors come on the bottom of the list of priority within the HSE as Social work family support always take priority within children and family services... Inspectors in some areas don't even have their own PC, no clerical support, no training, no induction, no support/advice on difficult issues. the moratorium on recruitment has left some of us working to clear backlogs, trying to catch up and never seeing an end in sight. I am an Inspector and I take it very seriously my job and have been calling for change and begging for reports to be made public.... all has fallen on deaf ears, until now but too late as we are now 'Public enemy NO 1' with no voice and silenced by corporate HSE!:roll:
 
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