HIQA launches new COVID-19 support service for the residential social care sector

Date of publication:

HIQA has today opened an Infection Prevention and Control Hub to provide advice and support to social care services as they tackle COVID-19. The Hub is available to providers and staff of nursing homes, residential centres for people with a disability, special care units and Tusla children’s residential settings.

The Infection Prevention and Control Hub will provide guidance on how to prepare for and manage a COVID-19 outbreak in a residential service, and offer advice on infection prevention and control measures when caring for a resident with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The Hub will also offer support in understanding and applying national advice in individual centres, and answer any general infection prevention and control queries that services and their staff may have. 

HIQA will work closely with the HSE and Tusla on infection prevention and control issues in residential settings and will escalate high-risk centres to their attention as necessary. 

HIQA’s Chief Inspector of Social Services, Mary Dunnion, said: “We know that providers and staff are working extremely hard to provide safe care to residents in these exceptionally challenging times. In supporting residential services since the COVID-19 public health emergency began, it became apparent that additional support was required in the area of infection prevention and control. 

“I am confident that by working together we can support and protect vulnerable adults and children living in residential centres. I hope that this service will be of benefit to both providers and staff.”

The Hub will initially be available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and will increase availability depending on demand. You can contact the Hub by telephone on 1800 220 000 or by email at DCIPCsupport@hiqa.ie

To find out more, watch HIQA inspector Kathryn Hanly explain the Hub in this short video. 


Further information:
Clare O’Byrne, Acting Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, HIQA
(01) 8286712 / 085 8030846, cobyrne@hiqa.ie

Notes to editor:
HIQA continues to support the national public health response to COVID-19 by:

  • providing guidance and support to designated centres,
  • risk assessing nursing homes,
  • carrying out contact tracing,
  • prioritising the registration of additional beds in the social care system,
  • conducting rapid reviews and evidence summaries to inform health decisions and guideline updates.