HIQA and the Mental Health Commission want to hear from the public to help improve quality of care and support for children

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are inviting children, young people, families, advocates, staff with experience of health and social care services, as well as the wider public, to help inform the development of new Draft Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services.

Feedback received through this public consultation will help to ensure that the standards are meaningful to children and improve their experiences of health and social care services.

The overarching standards are underpinned by four principles (a children’s rights-based approach, safety and wellbeing, responsiveness and accountability) and can be used by all health and social care services including disability services, mental health services, acute services, GP and primary care services, and children’s social services to achieve child-centred care and support. 

There are two main organisations responsible for organising health and social care services for children; the HSE and Tusla, in addition to private and voluntary service providers. These overarching standards will support organisations and services to work together in a coordinated and integrated way to improve the experience and outcomes of children and their families. The standards set out what outcomes a child should expect and what a service needs to do to achieve these outcomes. 

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards said: “HIQA and the MHC recognise the complexities of health and social care services and the challenges faced by services and staff in driving and sustaining improvements in these settings. By providing a common framework for all health and social care services working with children, these standards aim to promote clarity, consistency and continuity within and between services so that children experience integrated care and support and do not fall between services.”

It is envisioned that the draft overarching standards will also act as a framework for the development of more specific standards or guidance that describe in more detail how services can care for and support children in a particular context, if required in the future. 

Rachel Flynn continued: “We recognise that while national standards are an important component that will improve consistency and continuity of care and support for children, in order for the standards to be effective, national policy and structures to support inter-agency working will also be required.”

Gary Kiernan, Director of Regulation at the MHC said: “The MHC and HIQA welcome feedback on the draft standards. We hope that the standards will give a shared voice to the expectations of all those who use or work in services which support children. They will be an important driver for change and provide a common language to describe what high-quality, safe and reliable services look like.”

Feedback on the standards can be provided by completing an online questionnaire or downloading the feedback form on www.hiqa.ie and emailing it to standards@hiqa.ie. 

At the end of this consultation, comments will be collated and used to help inform the development of the Draft Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services.

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Thursday, 28 October 2021.

Ends

For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement 01 814 7480/ 085 805 5202/ mwhelan@hiqa.ie  

For further information on the consultation, please contact the consultation team at standards@hiqa.ie or call 01 814 7400 and ask to speak to a member of the Standards Team.


Notes to the editor:

  • Informing these standards is a detailed evidence review published on the HIQA and MHC website, and extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • The draft standards published today have been informed by extensive engagement with over 150 children and young people, families, staff, and advocates with experience of health and social care services. 
  • HIQA and the MHC will also be running focus groups with young people, families, advocates, staff, service-providers and policy makers with experience of health and social care services to further inform the development of these standards.
  • Regular advisory group meetings are taking place with young people, advocates, service delivery bodies and policymakers with experience of health and social care services.
  • HIQA is also developing National Standards for Children’s Social Services which will be aligned to and sit underneath the Overarching National Children’s Standards. These two sets of standards will be consistent and complementary and together will ensure that all services involved in the care and support of children work together to provide high-quality, safe, consistent and coordinated care and support to children.
  • The National Standards for Children’s Social Services will set out what the Overarching National Children’s Standards look like in children’s social services and provide more detailed information specific to children using social services.