HIQA issues a press release on their Report “Five years of regulation in designated centres for people with a disability”

(23 Jul 2019)


HIQA shows regulation improves safety and quality of life for people with disabilities

Regulation of Ireland’s disability sector has had a positive impact on the lives of people who receive services, according to a new report by the Heath Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

Data from the first five years of regulation shows improvements in levels of compliance year-on-year, with overall compliance with all regulations inspected increasing from 59% in year 1 to 76% by year 5.

Mary Dunnion, HIQA’s Director of Regulation and Chief Inspector of Social Services, said: “When HIQA commenced the regulation of residential services for people with disabilities on 1 November 2013, it was the first time such services were subject to independent regulation. Our findings in the first few years were reflective of a sector that was not initially prepared for regulation, with some services providing good services, and poor practice and low levels of compliance evident in others.

“Over the past five years, however, regulation has driven improvements in these services through monitoring, inspections and enforcement action. In particular, our inspection findings show that residents’ rights and dignity are better promoted, and their social care needs are now being met in most cases. Residents regularly tell us how these improvements have positively impacted their lives. For example, moving to houses nearer their families, going on holidays or to concerts, working in their local communities and having more control over what they do on a daily basis.”

Notwithstanding these improvements, significant challenges remain regarding the management and oversight of services, addressing infrastructural deficits and safeguarding vulnerable people.

Ms Dunnion continued: “The governance arrangements in some centres have continually failed to ensure there is adequate oversight of the quality and safety of the service. There are also ongoing challenges for some providers in achieving a safe and high-quality living environment for residents.

“While regulation has brought about increased awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, safeguarding issues continue to be regularly raised by our inspectors. Better protections need to be put in place to safeguard residents from abuse and to extend the protections offered by regulation to other vulnerable people. We await the Minister for Health’s approval of the National Standards for Adult Safeguarding, developed by HIQA and the Mental Health Commission.

You can download a copy of the Report and Infographic by clicking on the links below:



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