Monday, July 15, 2024

Compliance in Residential Care: HIQA Inspection Reports

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The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published a comprehensive set of 50 inspection reports on residential centres for older people. These meticulous inspections were carried out over a four-month period, from January 2024 to April 2024. The Chief Inspector of Social Services is entrusted with the statutory responsibility of independently regulating designated centres for older people, ensuring compliance with the Health Act (2007) Regulations and the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland (2016). This regulatory framework is essential to guarantee that the residents in these services are safe, well-cared for, and that their living conditions meet the highest standards of care.

Of the 50 reports published, inspectors found substantial evidence of good practice and high levels of compliance with the regulations and standards across numerous inspections. Notably, six thematic inspection reports focusing on the use of restrictive practices were found to be either fully compliant or substantially compliant with the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland. Furthermore, an additional 17 centres were either fully compliant or substantially compliant with the regulations. Generally, these centres demonstrated a strong commitment to meeting residents’ needs and delivering care in alignment with the national standards and regulations. This positive compliance underscores the dedication of many providers to uphold high-quality care for older people.

Non-Compliance Residential Care Issues

However, the inspection reports also revealed varying levels of non-compliance among the remaining centres. Specifically, 15 centres were non-compliant with three regulations or fewer, while 12 centres were found to be non-compliant with four or more regulations. The non-compliance issues identified spanned several critical areas, including governance and management, complaints procedures, premises conditions, fire precautions, residents’ rights, infection control, individual assessment and personal planning, and the notification of incidents. These findings highlight the ongoing challenges and areas for improvement that some residential care providers must address to meet the required standards.

In cases where non-compliance with the regulations was identified, providers were mandated to submit comprehensive compliance plans. These plans outline the specific steps that providers will take to make the necessary improvements and achieve compliance with the regulations. The submission and implementation of these compliance plans are crucial for ensuring that the safety and well-being of the residents are prioritized. These plans also serve as a roadmap for providers to enhance their services and rectify identified deficiencies, thereby fostering a culture of continuous improvement in residential care settings.


Ensuring Safety and Quality Care

Overall, the inspection reports underscore the diverse levels of compliance across residential care centres for older people in Ireland. While a significant number of centres are meeting or exceeding the required standards and regulations, there are still centres that need to address specific non-compliance issues to ensure the safety and quality of care for their residents. The ongoing monitoring and reporting by HIQA play a vital role in maintaining transparency and accountability within the sector, encouraging all providers to strive for excellence in care delivery.

The publication of these inspection reports serves as a crucial reminder of the continuous efforts needed to maintain and elevate standards in residential care settings. Providers must remain vigilant and proactive in meeting and surpassing regulatory requirements to deliver the highest possible care for older people in Ireland. This commitment to continuous improvement is essential for fostering trust and confidence among residents, their families, and the broader community.


Resource: Health Information and Quality Authority, June 27, 2024

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