Subject to approval by the Authority’s board, the standards will then be submitted to the Minister for Health Simon Harris for endorsement.
A HIQA spokesperson informed <strong><em>MI</em></strong> that, under the Health Act, the Authority should have regard to the resources of the HSE.
“Both the HSE and the Department of Health are represented on the Advisory Group convened to advise HIQA on the development of these standards. Both organisations were also contacted during the six-week public consultation on the draft standards noting the requirement for the Authority to be cognisant of the Executive’s resources and requesting that they review the draft standards and make a submission in this regard.
“Once the standards are approved by the Minister for Health they will become nationally mandated standards and HIQA will begin preparations to launch the national standards,” said HIQA’s spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson said its inspection programme against the <em>National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infection in Acute Settings</em> is currently underway.
“In light of the National Public Health Emergency [regarding carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)], as part of our standard monitoring approach we have taken a particular interest through this programme in how hospitals have put in place the required measures to address the CPE threat, in particular with respect to the approach to patient screening for CPE colonisation in accordance with the HSE’s own guidelines.”
HIQA intends to publish the first seven reports from inspections conducted to date in a single batch towards the end of this month.