HIQA raises concerns over public nursing homes’ compliance with staff vetting

Paul Mulholland | 07 Feb 2019 | 0 Comment(s)

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HIQA has raised concerns with the HSE regarding compliance with Garda vetting of staff who work in nursing homes, the Medical Independent (MI) can reveal.

According to HIQA, some HSE centres are not compliant with the requirement in the regulations to ensure that a vetting disclosure in accordance with the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 is kept in a designated centre and available for inspection.

“A significant number of applications for the renewal of registrations are delayed because vetting disclosures required are not submitted with the application,” according to minutes of a HSE/HIQA meeting on regulatory risk, which took place in July 2018.

“Applications for registration renewal cannot be processed because the required Garda vetting is not provided. The HSE has in some instances failed to address a lack of clarity re responsibility for Garda vetting of contract workers,” added the minutes, obtained under Freedom of Information legislation.

 “In a separate safeguarding issue, HIQA has noticed significant regional variation in the level of support provided by the HSE safeguarding team to private providers who have requested advice or support in relation to safeguarding issues,” according to the minutes.

A HSE spokesperson told MI that the Executive is workiing with HIQA to address the concerns.

Another issue discussed was how repeated inspections have found a lack of day-to-day meaningful activities in some HSE centres.

“HSE centres are often founded on a medical model of care and are struggling with transitioning to a social model of care,” according to the minutes.

Overall, however, HIQA’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Social Services Ms Susan Cliffe informed the meeting that older persons’ services, which is in the third cycle of registration, demonstrate a “good level” of regulatory compliance in general.

The meetings on regulatory risk are part of a new process agreed by HIQA and the HSE to discuss concerns in the health service.

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