LCQ12: Monitoring residential care homes for persons with disabilities
Regarding the monitoring of residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) by the Social Welfare Department (SWD), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of reports received by SWD in the past three years on special incidents involving RCHDs, with a breakdown by name of RCHDs;
(2) of the number of reports received by SWD in the past three years on accidents in RCHDs which involved RCHD residents, with a breakdown by name of RCHDs and type of accidents; the number of RCHDs in which the same type of accidents occurred more than once, and whether it knows the current condition of the residents concerned; the assistance provided to such residents by the Government;
(3) of the number of reports on the death of RCHD residents received by SWD in the past three years, with a breakdown by name of RCHDs and the cause of death;
(4) of the number of reports, received by SWD or the Police in the past three years, on RCHD residents allegedly having been sexually assaulted or harassed, the number of persons concerned who were prosecuted and, among them, the number of persons convicted;
(5) of the number of complaints against RCHDs received by SWD in the past three years, and set out, by name of RCHDs, the subjects of complaints and the follow-up actions taken by SWD; and
(6) of the respective numbers of RCHDs, since the Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance (Cap. 613) came into full operation in June 2013, whose licences were cancelled and whose Certificates of Exemption (CoEs) were revoked, and set out, by name of RCHDs, the reasons for cancellation of their licences and revocation of CoEs; the criteria adopted by SWD for making such decisions?
My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Kwong Chun-yu is as follows:
(1), (2) and (3) According to the Code of Practice for Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) (Code of Practice) of the Social Welfare Department (SWD), residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) (including RCHDs operated by non-governmental organisations and private RCHDs) must report to the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for Persons with Disabilities (LORCHD) of SWD within three days after a special incident occurs, including "uncommon death" / "death caused by severe injury of residents", "missing of residents requiring police assistance", etc. In the past three years, LORCHD received around 510 cases of special incident reports, among which 58 cases that occurred in RCHDs involved death of residents. The majority of the 58 cases (47 cases) were "fainted" or "in coma" owing to "illness at RCHDs" and "death after arrival at hospitals", and the rest (11 cases) involved "stumbling falls", "pushed by residents", "suicide due to mental/emotional illness" etc. Upon receipt of such reports, LORCHD will find out more information about the incident from RCHDs immediately and decide to investigate the incident or to take other follow-up action. LORCHD will contact the relevant case social workers when necessary to ensure that the case/family members could obtain the required assistance.
In addition, home managers of RCHDs must set up and maintain a set of comprehensive and updated record system at RCHDs in accordance with the requirement of the Code of Practice. LORCHD will review the records of RCHDs, including records of accident and death/discharge from RCHDs when conducting surprise inspections to ensure that the RCHDs have detailed records of relevant information and have taken immediate remedial and follow-up actions after the occurrence of incidents.
(4) In the past three years, LORCHD received four cases of special incident reports on residents suspected to have been sexually assaulted or harassed by RCHD staff and reported these cases to the Police. In addition, LORCHD received 15 cases of special incident reports on residents suspected to have been sexually assaulted or harassed by other residents in the past three years and 12 of these cases have been reported to the Police. As to the remaining three cases, RCHDs are conducting investigation and liaising with the victims' family members on the way forward.
Upon discovery of suspected sexual assault or harassment incidents, RCHDs will provide support to residents concerned immediately and investigate the incidents and take follow-up action. LORCHD, upon receipt of relevant special incident reports, will find out more information about the incident from RCHDs immediately and decide to investigate the incident or to take other follow-up actions.
On the other hand, the Police indicates that it does not keep the breakdown of figures on report, prosecution and conviction figures regarding sex crimes for victims who are RCHD residents.
(5) In the past three years, LORCHD received 136 complaint cases regarding management of RCHDs, manpower arrangement, drug management, nursing and personal care services etc.
LORCHD accords priority to conducting surprise inspections at the RCHDs concerned and investigates the matters raised in the complaints. If RCHDs are found to have contravened the Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance (RCHD Ordinance) during surprise inspections or investigation, LORCHD will, depending on the nature and severity of the irregularities identified, issue to RCHDs advisory or warning letters, or written directions on remedial measures under the RCHD Ordinance. If a RCHD persistently fails to make improvement, LORCHD will, according to the RCHD Ordinance and the actual situation of non-compliance, take prosecution action against it, or consider revoking or refusing to renew its licence or Certificate of Exemption. SWD will step up the relevant work, including engaging, on contract terms, retired disciplined service officers to assist the professional team of LORCHD in carrying out inspections to RCHDs and strictly enforcing the law. LORCHD will also work closely with the Department of Justice so that LORCHD can take prompt and effective prosecution action against RCHDs with irregularities and poor track records. SWD will also seek legal advice to explore the possibility of making public the warning records of non-compliant RCHDs with a view to enhancing transparency.
(6) Since the full implementation of the RCHD Ordinance in June 2013, the Certificate of Exemption of one RCHD (Bridge of Rehabilitation Company) has been revoked as it contravened the requirements on management and operation as stipulated in the Code of Practice and failed to make continuous improvement.
Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:35
Issued at HKT 12:35