HIQA has a team in place that inspects nusing homes and during these inspections they hope to meet as many people as possible, including residents and families. Photo: Georg Arthur Pflueger/Unsplash

Inspection teams in place

It can be an emotional time when the ones we care about move into a nursing home. You can’t be there all the time to check that everything is going as it should be and that all standards are being meet.

While the worry will never vanish completely, it is a relief to know that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has a team in place to check that all is running as smoothly as possible.

HIQA’s Older People's inspection team are responsible for the monitoring, inspection and registration of designated centres for older people, such as nursing homes, in Ireland.

According to the HIQA.ie website, its main goal during inspection is to meet as many people as possible, including residents and families.

The website says: “We may also speak with members of staff, the person in charge and the person who represents the provider service. This gives us an insight into the running of the nursing home and the good aspects of care there, such as residents being involved in the running of the centre.”

HIQA uses regulations and national standards to monitor and inspect.

This ensures that providers are aware of the level and standard of service they should be providing to residents. Inspections ensure that services meet the requirements set out by the Health Act 2007, regulations and National Standards in order to be registered to operate.

“We carry out different types of inspections, some of which are announced and unannounced, and some of which are thematic,” added the website.

During inspections HIQA seeks for assurance that the regulations are being adhered to.

“We want to know that older people who are receiving residential care, are safe, have their rights are respected, are included in decisions about their care, are provided with care that matches their individual health and social needs, and have a good quality of life.”

After the inspection, HIQA will publish its inspection reports on its website.

These reports give information to the public on what it is like to live in the centre and whether a centre provides consistently good care.

“We also receive unsolicited information by persons who may have a concern about the care provided. Inspectors review each piece of information received and use it to inform our work. Our aim is to ensure that good care is provided to residents, and we take necessary action to enforce this when required,” HIQA’s website added.