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HIQA Standards

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today (14th May 2013) published National Standards for residential services for children and adults with disabilities. These Standards outline to providers what they must do to ensure safe and effective care is provided to people living in, or using, residential and residential respite services.

These Standards will provide those who use services and their families/representatives with a guide as to what they should expect from residential services. These standards will be used as a framework to drive continuous improvements in these services.

The standards will ensure than children and adults using residential services have the right to be safe, to receive good care and support and to have access to the services they need to enable them to live a fulfilling life.”

The National Standards apply to residential services (including Cheshire Ireland) provided to children and adults with a disability, whether the service is operated by public, private or voluntary bodies or agencies. Following the publication of the regulations by the Government, all services providing residential services for people with disabilities in Ireland will have to be registered with HIQA.

The Standards were developed by the Authority following a review of national and international literature, a number of meetings with a Standards Advisory Group and an extensive consultation period with a wide range of stakeholders in children and adult disability services in Ireland.

The National Standards focus on the outcomes for the adults and children receiving services. They state that children and adults who live in residential services should enjoy a good quality of life and live in a place that feels like their home. The Standards are grouped under eight key themes and cover a number of areas including respecting service users’ autonomy, privacy and dignity and promoting their rights. They are also aimed at ensuring the facilitation of choice and safeguarding and protecting service users from abuse.

 The Standards, along with relevant regulations, will be used as the framework to assess whether centres are providing safe and effective care for children and adults living there. It is the first time that residential services for children and adults with disabilities will be subjected to independent scrutiny by a regulator. HIQA will begin the registration and inspection of residential services for children and adults with disabilities against these standards and regulations later this year. From then, all residential services will be required to provide HIQA with evidence of compliance with the National Standards and the regulations in order to remain registered.

The National Standards can be downloaded from www.hiqa.ie. There are a number of different versions of the Standards available, including the full Standards document, a plain English guide to the Standards, an easy to read version for adults and one for children. The Standards have been produced in Braille and there are two audio versions: one is a short summary of the Standards, available on iTunes, and the other is the full standards, available on our website. Added to that, there is short video about the Standards on HIQA’s YouTube channel. The video includes sign language and closed captioning. All these materials are also available for free download from www.hiqa.ie.

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