The Health Information Regulatory Authority (HIQA) is an independent authority established to drive high-quality and safe care for people using health and social care services in Ireland. They are responsible for setting the standards in health and social care services and are responsible for ensuring that these standards are complied with.
Under the National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland and the National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities, HIQA have the power to monitor and inspect residential care services. The purpose of this is to protect vulnerable people of all ages who are receiving residential care services and to ensure these people are receiving an appropriate standard and quality of service.
HIQA carries out the following types of inspections:
- Monitoring compliance with regulations and standards to inform a decision for registration, including concerns regarding fitness of provider and or persons participating in the management of the centre
- Monitoring compliance with regulations and standards as a result of identified risk, and or enforcement activity
- Thematic inspections
When preparing for a HIQA inspection it is important to focus on the things that can be controlled, such as:
- Staff Participation: Communicate with staff pre-inspection. Provide formal training to them on the inspection process so that they are reassured and have an idea of what they are to say and do. Provide good examples, focusing on person-centred care. Make sure that they are aware of the inspection date.
- Resident Involvement: Inspectors will want to speak with the residents so it is important to inform them in advance of the inspection. Consider having resident representatives and also identify any resident who may not wish to be involved.
- Documentation: Make sure to have the required information available for the inspector. Ensure that it is in a clear, accessible format, well organised and that resident’s confidentiality is maintained. Avoid having old, out of date documentation or poorly photographed / reproduced information.
- Management Involvement: The Provider/PIC/delegate person will be required to meet the inspector on arrival and give them a walk around of the centre outlining how the service is being delivered in line with its statement of purpose. After the inspection there will be a provider feedback meeting where the inspector will give feedback on their preliminary findings. Have key information ready such as resident involvement mechanisms, continuous improvement examples, environment maintenance, complaints management, protection from abuse, personal care planning and staffing and recruitment.
- Environment & Equipment: Ensure the fire exits are clear, have service/maintenance records for all equipment, have evidence of health and safety assessments, resident absconsion prevention systems, have use and maintenance records for call bells. For hygiene and infection control have posters available, information for staff and evidence of hand washing.
- Logistics: For the day of the inspection, identify a key person for the inspector to liaise with and provide them with a private room that has a sign on the door. Have the introduction presentation set up and any key documentation available. Make sure there is no confidential information in the room. Ensure there is access to paper, pens, water and refreshments throughout the day.
Remember to ground yourself, clarify your thinking, keep a positive outlook and be open to feedback.
If you require any assistance preparing for a regulatory inspection contact HCI at +353 (0)93 36126 or email@example.com.