HIQA's older people's services inspection team is legally responsible for the monitoring, inspection and registration of designated centres for older people, such as nursing homes, in Ireland.

Our main goal during inspection is to meet as many people as possible, including residents and families. We may also speak with members of staff, the person in charge and the person who represents the provider's service. This gives us an insight into the running of the nursing home and the good aspects of care there, such as residents being involved in the running of the centre.

We use regulations and national standards to monitor and inspect.

This ensures that providers are aware of the level and standard of service they should be providing to residents. Inspections ensure that services meet the requirements set out by the Health Act 2007, regulations and national standards in order to be registered to operate.

We carry out different types of inspections, some of which are announced and unannounced, and some of which are thematic. Thematic monitoring programmes focus on a particular aspect of care provided, with a focus on improving the quality of that care.

During our inspections, we are seeking assurance that the regulations are being adhered to.

We want to know that older people who are receiving residential care:

  • are safe
  • have their rights respected
  • are included in decisions about their care
  • are provided with care that matches their individual health and social needs, and
  • have a good quality of life.

After the inspection, we then publish our inspection reports on our website.

These reports give information to the public on what it is like to live in the centre and whether a provider provides consistently good care.

We also receive unsolicited information from persons who may have a concern about the care provided. Inspectors review each piece of information received and use it to inform our work. Our aim is to ensure that good care is provided to residents, and we take necessary action to enforce this when required.

Under the functions of the Chief Inspector as set out in the Health Act 2007 (as amended) ,section 41(b), the Chief Inspector is required to establish and maintain one or more registers of designated centres. The content of the register is outlined by statutory instrument and includes information (but not limited to) the following:

  • date of registration and the expiry date
  • registered provider and related contact details
  • person in charge
  • persons participating in management of the designated centre
  • the number of residents that can be accommodated at the designated centre
  • any conditions applying

What is a Section 64 centre?

Where a registered provider is not providing a safe service to residents, the Chief Inspector may cancel the provider’s registration of a centre. When a centre’s registration is cancelled, the HSE is the responsible body that must take over the running of the designated centre until alternative arrangements can be made for the residents under section 64 of the Health Act 2007 (as amended). The section 64 register is available at the link below.

Download the Section 64 Register