New National Standards for Residential Care Launched

9 March 2009

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Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., along with Minister of State for Older People, Maire Hoctor T.D. and Dr Tracey Cooper, CEO of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today, 9th March, 2009, launched the approved National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People.

From 1 July 2009, the Chief Inspector of Social Services will have the power to inspect all designated centres for older people. As part of the new regime all Nursing Homes will have to be registered. This will replace the current system whereby the HSE registered and inspected private nursing homes only.

Speaking at the launch Minister Harney said “An effective, robust, independent and transparent inspection regime for residential services for older people is an absolute necessity. Our older population who can no longer live in the community because of their high levels of dependency and complex care needs deserve the reassurance that the care they will be given and the environment they will live in, will meet high standards.”

Minister Harney also announced that she will be introducing fees this year in respect of the new registration and inspections. The fees are set at €500 for registration, payable once every three years and an annual licensing fee of €190 per designated place in the home. The fees will apply to private providers and also to the HSE.

Also speaking at the launch, Minister for Older People, Maire Hoctor T.D. welcomed the introduction of the standards. “I consider this to be a very significant step in reinforcing our duty of care to older people. Our most vulnerable need the most protection and the introduction of these standards will ensure that their needs are met”.