Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HIQA Standards

Since the first of July, all public and private nursing homes are being subjected to an independent and transparent inspection regime, by the Health and Information Quality Authority (HIQA).

The regulations underpin the national quality standards for residential care settings for older people in Ireland. It followed widespread consultations with service providers, residents and their families, the Health Service Executive and organisations representing elderly people.
Homes will be assessed under 32 different standards. These include safeguards for the privacy and dignity of residents, the right to a written contract of care, hygiene guidelines and guarantees to protect people from abuse.

Inspections have started across the country. They can take place at any time during the day or night and may be either announced or unannounced. Nursing homes that fail to meet the new standards face the threat of closure.
Reports will be published immediately after every inspection on the Health Information and Quality Authority website.

Welcoming the latest development, Minister Harney said the chief inspector of social services will now have the power to inspect all designated centres for older people.
HIQA Social Services Chief Inspector Dr Marion Witton says new nursing home inspections will play an important part in protecting elderly people in care.