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HSE appeals HIQA notices on two nursing homes

The HSE has lodged appeals to two notices issued by HIQA’s Chief Inspector in relation to concerns about conditions in a number of nursing homes.

As recently reported in the Medical Independent (MI), HIQA CEO Mr Phelim Quinn wrote to HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid in June to outline serious concerns about the registration of seven nursing homes.

During HIQA’s board meeting on 27 November, Chief Inspector Ms Mary Dunnion again reiterated that works under the HSE’s capital plan would not be sufficiently advanced in some centres to meet specific regulations relating to the premises, privacy and other areas.

However, Ms Dunnion stated that “significant improvements can be made to the quality-of-life of residents by reconfiguring the internal space and by reducing the number of residents”, according to the minutes.

“She advised that if the HSE is not in agreement with a reduction in the number of beds in these centres, it may appeal the Chief Inspector’s position.

“It was noted that the Chief Inspector has a statutory duty to attach conditions to the registration of centres where centres are not in compliance with the regulations.”

Ms Dunnion clarified to HIQA’s board that the proposed approach would not involve displacing residents.

She said there has been a “high level of engagement” with the Department of Health, while Mr Quinn advised there would be “ongoing engagement” with the HSE.

The HSE’s appeals were made in the district court.

A spokesperson for the HSE told MI that, as part of the capital programme, there has been “a significant progression of refurbishment” of nursing homes, which is continuing right across the country.

“The HSE will continue to work with HIQA where any issues of concern are raised in a centre in order to resolve them in accordance with the regulations,” according to the spokesperson.

“As providers of service, the HSE has the right to appeal the decision of the Chief Inspector to any particular decision where it is of the view that such an appeal is necessary.”

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