Registration and Inspection of Nursing Homes

Information

The Health Act, 2007, provides for the establishment of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and for the registration and inspection of all nursing homes by the Chief Inspector of Social Services, part of the HIQA.

This replaces the previous system set out under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act, 1990, where the Health Services Authority (HSE) registers and inspects private nursing homes only.

Standards

The National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland were launched by the Minister and HIQA on 9 March 2009.

There are 32 standards under 7 groupings - Rights, Protection, Health and Social Needs, Quality of Life, Staffing, The Care Environment and Governance and Management.

These standards acknowledge the unique and complex needs of the individual at the centre of care and are based on service providers delivering a person-centred and comprehensive service that promotes health, well-being and quality of life. The Chief Inspector will inspect residential centres against these standards.

The continued objective is to protect the vulnerable and weak and these standards are consistent with Government policy, principles and legislation. The standards acknowledge the unique and complex needs of the individual person at the centre of care, and set a bar for service providers to deliver a person-centred and comprehensive service that promotes health, well-being and quality of life.

These standards are about much more than infrastructure. They are a blueprint for the provision of a higher standard of care delivered against a set of understood and developed criteria and are designed to improve and enhance care and to recognise good practice. The new system of inspection and registration will be robust, the standards will be challenging. The challenge is to ensure that these quality standards are being implemented across the system and that people have confidence in the residential services for older people.

Regulations

The Health Act 2007 (Registration of Designated Centres) Regulations 2009 requires designated centres for older people to register with the Chief Inspector and sets out the relevant fees to be paid.

The Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2009 underpin the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland, which were approved by the Minister on 17 February 2009.

Both regulations came into force on 1 July 2009.

The Department carried out a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) on the standards and regulations required to underpin them. This included commissioning a consultancy to carry out an assessment of costs on the standards.

The Inspectorate/Chief Inspector

Statutory responsibility is given to the Chief Inspector of Social Services for inspecting and registering children’s residential centres, residential centres for people with disabilities and all nursing homes for older people (public, voluntary and HSE run). The Chief Inspector has the power to refuse to register, attach conditions to a registration or cancel a registration in the event of non-compliance with the regulations that underpin the standards. This gives the Chief Inspector real power to ensure that nursing homes meet the standards.

Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
Unit 1301 City Gate
Mahon
Cork,
Ireland

Phone: (+353) 021 2409300
Wesite; www.hiqa.ie
E-mail: info@hiqa.ie

Relevant documents