What we do and why

We are an independent authority responsible for driving quality, safety and accountability in residential services for children, older people and people with disabilities in Ireland.

We are responsible for driving improvements in the quality and safety of healthcare on behalf of patients. We develop standards, monitor compliance with standards and carry out investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so.

One of our functions is to carry out national Health Technology Assessments (HTA) across our health system. HTAs evaluate objectively new technologies from a clinical point of view.

We also advise on the collection and sharing of information across our healthcare services. We evaluate and publish information about the delivery and performance of Ireland’s health and social care services.

Quality and Safety

Over the last number of decades the quality and safety of our health and social care services has increasingly become one of the main priorities of policy makers, clinicians, patients and users of services, politicians and providers.

Building a Culture of Patient Safety

Building a Culture of Patient Safety: the Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance contains several key recommendations for the Authority. One of these recommendations is that we will become licensing authority for public and private healthcare providers.

Standards

We are responsible for setting standards on safety and quality for health and social care services. Under legislation, these standards are applicable to services provided by or on behalf of the Heath Services Executive (HSE) as well as services provided by a nursing home. Examples include but are not limited to: acute hospitals, community hospitals, nursing homes/hospitals, district hospitals, health centres, dental clinics, childcare residential services, primary care services, home care, etc. Our standards are in keeping with the best and most up-to-date national and international evidence.

How we do it

We assess services to monitor that they are doing what is required of them by the standards. We can do this using a variety of approaches including self-assessment, analysing data or reviewing documents submitted to us as well as visiting healthcare providers to carry out assessments using standards. Find out more about how we do it.