Press Release

Minister Lynch welcomes the publication of HIQA’s first Overview Report on the Regulation of Designated Centres for Older People

The Minister for Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD, today (Tuesday, 6 May 2014) welcomed the publication of HIQA’s first ever Overview Report on its regulatory programme for Designated Residential Centres for Older People.

“The report sets out the improvements that have been achieved in ensuring that homes reach the minimum standards required under current legislation” said Minister Lynch. “We are now in the second 3-year registration cycle and, in the renewal process, providers will have to demonstrate to the regulator that they have maintained the required standards”.

Since 2009, HIQA has had responsibility for registering and inspecting residential homes for our older people, with the aim of ensuring safe, high quality care is provided to those availing of nursing home services. Their programme of both scheduled and unannounced inspections helps to ensure that these standards are not just maintained, but are improved on, and where issues of non-compliance arise, that these are addressed and rectified immediately.

The Department of Health is committed to ensuring that the best quality nursing home care is available to those of our older people who need such services. Minister Reilly recently approved revised Care and Welfare Regulations for residential settings which will come into effect on 1 July.

“In 2013, HIQA introduced themed inspections on end-of-life care and food and nutrition. The feedback received shows that this themed approach has had a positive impact. There will be further themed inspections in 2014 in an effort to ensure the highest possible care is provided to residents” said the Minister.

“While the vast majority of service providers follow best practice and are in compliance with Regulations and quality standards, there is no room for complacency. I note from the report that a number of issues arose in relation to health and safety and risk management, and to medication management. However, where serious issues have arisen in relation to the rights, health and safety of residents, HIQA has acted quickly and decisively to address these issues. I have full confidence that they will continue to do so in the future”.

View the report here