The Health Information and Quality Authority has begun a nationwide public consultation on new National Standards for nursing homes and residential care settings providing services to older people.
Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan, Director of Quality and Safety Improvement at HIQA, said: “The current standards are now five years old and nursing home care has moved on during this time. We have also learned a lot from five years of inspecting these centres and the new standards reflect where significant improvements have been made but also where further attention is needed.
“We know that staff and management in residential care want to provide the best care for their residents and these new standards will help them promote improvement in areas such as medication management, person-centred care, infection prevention and risk management. Service providers are also more aware now of their responsibilities in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of residents and, having experienced regulation of the sector, they are also clear on the consequences of not doing so,” she said.
“It must be noted however that only 1 of the 566 centres inspected by HIQA in 2013 resulted in enforcement procedures being taken. This is clear evidence of regulation working for the benefit of the people using these services.
HIQA is seeking feedback on the new Draft Standards from residents and their families, interested groups, people working in nursing homes and from the general public.
“Older people have a right to live as full a life as possible in a high quality, safe and respectful environment. For the approximately 6% of older people in Ireland living in residential care, this is vitally important for them as these nursing homes are where they live.”
The Standards published this week represent a revision by HIQA of the standards published in 2009. They take into account feedback from providers and residents living in residential care settings as well as evidence-based international research.
The Standards apply to services provided in all nursing homes, and other care settings such as geriatric hospital wards, run by the HSE, private or voluntary bodies.
Registered nursing homes are subject to monitoring and inspection on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting the Standards and complying with the legislation and regulations.
The final date for receipt of submissions is 24 September 2014.
To view the Draft Standards online or take part in the consultation, visit Draft Standards
Copies of the Draft Standards and a poster about the consultation are also being sent to every nursing home in the country.