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- Explain the Inspection and Registration of Nursing Homes
Frequently Asked Questions
For residents, their families and the public:
Q 1. What is the inspection and registration of nursing homes about?
From 1 July 2009, the Social Services Inspectorate within the Health Information and Quality Authority are responsible for the registration and inspection of all public and private nursing homes and residential care services for older people. They register and inspect to see if nursing homes are safe and that residents are being cared for properly. For the first time, HSE-run centres, as well as, private and voluntary nursing homes are subject to independent registration and inspection.
Q 2. Do all nursing homes have to be registered?
Yes. By law, all nursing home services in the public, private and voluntary sectors have to be registered (to ensure they are able to provide such services in the first instance) and inspected (in order to ensure they are maintaining standards required to operate and are continuously upholding high standards) by the Social Services Inspectorate of the Health Information and Quality Authority.
Q 3. Why are HIQA conducting inspections?
Inspections occur to check that residents in nursing homes are safe and are well looked after. Inspections also provide information to residents, their families, and the general public about the standards of care in individual nursing homes. The aim of inspection is to make sure that poor services are not allowed to operate, and to support those nursing homes that provide good, person-centred care.
Q 4. Are there standards of care that nursing homes and residential centres should comply with?
Yes. The Health Information and Quality Authority has developed specific standards for the operation of nursing homes and residential centres in consultation with those who use services and those who provide them. These are called the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland, and they have been mandated by the Minister for Health and Children. HIQA inspect against these standards and against regulations set by the Department of Health and Children.
Q 5. Who carries out the inspections?
Inspections are carried out by inspectors from the Social Services Inspectorate of the Health Information and Quality Authority. All inspectors are fully trained staff of the Authority and have a wide range of relevant professional experience.
Q 6. How are inspections carried out?
Inspections are announced or unannounced and can be held during the day or night. Inspectors talk with managers, staff and interested people and also talk with residents (residents who do not wish to speak to inspectors do not have to) and their families. Inspectors focus on the experience of the resident living in the nursing home and what it is like to live there. An inspection report is produced by the Authority after each inspection.
Q 7. Is the inspection process totally independent of the Health Service Executive and private nursing home operators?
Yes, inspectors report to the Chief Inspector of Social Services within the Health Information Quality Authority.
Q 8. What kind of information is contained in inspection reports?
Inspection reports give factual information and highlight where standards of care are well met, as well as where improvements are required. They are published on the Authority's website. Inspection reports give the residential care centre’s location, and outline the number of places there and general facilities. They also outline the findings of the inspection and comment on all areas of the service. Any necessary actions required on the part of the provider are clearly indicated in the report. The reports are fair and reflect all aspects of the service that is being provided. These inspection reports provide information to the residents themselves, their families and the general public about the standards of care in individual centres.
Q 9. Can I read HIQA's inspection reports?
Inspection reports are published on the Health Information and Quality Authority’s website, http://www.hiqa.ie. They are published shortly after each inspection.
Q 10. What actions can be taken if a nursing home is not meeting your standards or the regulations?
As outlined in the Health Act 2007 HIQA have the power to seek legal enforcement of recommendations and sanctions in the event of non-compliance. Actions which can be taken in the interests of the residents living in the nursing home include:
•Requiring that changes to the service be made and then checking that these improvements are carried out, changing the operating conditions of that centre (the number, type or category of resident they may accommodate).
•Prosecuting for offences under the Health Act 2007, such as failing to comply with a condition of registration, cancelling registration of a centre so it will no longer be able to operate.
If inspectors come across a situation which poses an urgent risk to residents, which the owner is unwilling or unable to correct urgently, the Authority can take emergency action to address the situation.Every effort is made to ensure residents of nursing homes are not inconvenienced. However, if a nursing home does not comply with laws, arrangements may have to be made for residents to be moved to a different nursing home, which does comply with these laws and provides safe quality care.
Frequently Asked Questions | Your Nursing Homes in Ireland Guide
For further information on Irish Nursing Homes in Ireland feel free to check out the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) website.The address is http://www.hiqa.ie
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