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Report of nursing home sector published

Mary Dunnion, Chief Inspector, HIQA said: “A key finding from last year’s inspections is that governance and leadership within nursing homes lays the foundations for the quality of care provided to residents. The provision of high quality, safe service is found in centres where managers, providers and persons in charge continually look for innovative ways to improve the evolving needs, preferences and rights of individual residents.  The provision of individualized assessment and care planning, as well as staff with specific expertise, is essential in providing a truly person-centred service for nursing home residents”.

Good levels of compliance with regulations relating to provision of appropriate healthcare, food and nutrition and end-of-life care were found in the centres inspected. The three most common areas of non-compliance included issues related to premises, health and safety and risk management, and fire safety.

2015 also saw a rise in the number of registered centres, increasing from 565 in 2014 to 577 centres and providing 30,106 residential beds. Of the 343 centres inspected, 83% received one inspection visit. Ten centres were inspected three times each and one centre received four inspection visits. 

The vast majority of the 577 centres are operated by private providers, amounting to 76%. Twenty-one per cent are operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and 3% by HSE-funded bodies (voluntary). Three centres closed during 2015. While one was a voluntary closure, formal enforcement procedures were used in respect of two centres.

Mary Dunnion, Chief Inspector, HIQA continued: “There was a reduction in unsolicited information from the public in 2015, where concerned individuals contacted HIQA directly regarding issues relating to services. Most unsolicited information comes from relatives of residents and last year, 516 items of information were received, compared with 609 items in 2014.

“Although some progress has been made in a number of areas, providers of residential care services must continue to drive improvements in 2016. Person-centred care is at the heart of HIQA’s work and an evolving approach to the regulation of older people’s services is required to take account of the changing needs of our population. Plans for next year include the expansion of our programme of dementia care thematic inspections in at least 160 centres. Our focus and commitment is to ensure that all people working across the sector are equally as committed to delivering high quality, considerate care to every individual resident”.

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