Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (986, 988)

Matt Carthy


986. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Health if it is mandatory for HIQA inspections of nursing homes to include infection inspections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15706/20]

View answer

Matt Carthy


988. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Health the average time for which HIQA inspection teams remain on site during nursing home inspections; if there is a maximum time limit ascribed to inspection teams in these instances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15708/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 986 and 988 together.

Since 2009 the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, has been the statutory independent regulator in place for the nursing home sector, whether a HSE managed or a private nursing home. The Authority, established under the Health Act 2007, has significant and wide-ranging powers up to and including withdrawing the registration of a nursing home facility, which means that it can no longer operate as a service provider. This responsibility is underpinned by a comprehensive quality framework comprising of Registration Regulations, Care and Welfare Regulations and National Quality Standards.

HIQA monitors compliance with nationally-mandated standards and regulations to ensure that older people are receiving safe, high-quality and person-centred care. HIQA takes a risk-based approach to inspection and when information is received to suggest that there is a risk to the wellbeing of residents, HIQA uses this information to decide which regulations will be inspected against. Registered providers are required to be compliant with regulation 27 of the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 on infection control.

HIQA inspections can take place over one or two days, with the duration influenced by factors such as the:

- COVID-19 status of the centre

- reason for the inspection

- number of inspectors on inspection

- size of the centre

- findings during the course of the inspection.

Inspections progress rapidly in centres where residents are well cared for, the findings are good, and the provider is organised and the required documentation is readily available for review.