Residents of disability services tell HIQA about their rights and what is most important to them

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published a report outlining what residents of disability services told HIQA about their lives, experiences and the inspection process.

Last year, HIQA met with 80 residents during 22 online meetings. The report highlights what residents told inspectors about their rights, their home, their community and the people that are most important to them. Residents also told inspectors about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives.

Launching the report today, HIQA’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Social Services, Finbarr Colfer, said: “Feedback from people with disabilities, who live in designated centres, is one of the most important sources of information for HIQA.

The feedback from residents reminds us, about what is important in the lives of people with disabilities living in designated centres. Often, the things that are most important are the things that many people take for granted – things like being able to spend time in your own home without having to live with excessive noise, such as shouting, especially in congregated settings or being able to meet other people in the community and participate in activities, such as doing your own shopping, going to the local pub or joining local groups such as walking clubs.”

Residents also told us about what matters to them and what impacts most on their life. They told us about the difference between living in a large institutionalised residential service and the improved quality of life for them when they moved to small, local, personalised homes in the community. For example, one resident said “I have my own bedroom and bathroom. Relaxed, I am happy.”

Mr Colfer, continued: “Listening to the views of residents ensures that we continue to focus on the requirement for providers to uphold the rights of residents and that the will and preference of people with disabilities are respected. We also hope that by publishing this report, others will continue to listen to the views of residents and ensure that these are used to inform their work.”

For further information please contact:

Marty Whelan, Head of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement 
085 8055202, 

Notes to the editor:

  • HIQA regulates designated centres for people with disabilities against the Health Act 2007 (as amended), associated regulations and nationally mandated standards. Regulation sets the minimum level of service a person can expect to receive.
  • As at 31 December 2021, there were 1,401 registered designated centres for people with disabilities, providing places for 9,039 residents.
  • HIQA wrote to all providers of disability services which are currently registered with HIQA, asking them to put forward the names of residents’ groups who wished to engage with us as part of the 2021 residents’ forum. Responses were received from 16 providers.
  • An information pack was sent to providers by email prior to the meetings. This included a link to a video with a HIQA staff member explaining the project and what would happen during the meeting and an information sheet for residents about the purpose of the meetings.