HIQA welcomes two recent High Court judgments

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HIQA welcomes two recent High Court judgments which affirm the clear relationship between HIQA and the Chief Inspector, and are of particular relevance to the regulation of designated centres for older persons.

In January 2018, the Mr. Justice Simons in the High Court delivered  judgment in the case of Pakenham & ors trading as Carysfort Nursing Home v. Chief Inspector of Social Services [2018] IEHC 716. A further judgment was delivered by the High Court in July 2019 by Ms Justice Ní Raifeartaigh in the case of Silvergrove Nursing Home Limited trading as Silvergrove Nursing Home v. Chief Inspector of Social Services and HIQA.

The Pakenham case was initiated by a registered provider of a designated centre for older people who argued that statutory requests for information made by the Chief Inspector, pursuant to Section 65 of the Health Act 2007, were invalid. The High Court rejected the registered provider’s interpretation and described the challenge to the Section 65 requests as misconceived. Furthermore, the High Court concluded that the requests for information, of which there were three, were lawfully and properly made by the Chief Inspector in the course of carrying out her functions under the Act.

The High Court also determined that the challenges made to the validity of the prosecution were matters which should have been pursued before the District Court and not by way of judicial review. The application of the registered provider was dismissed in its entirety and the High Court ordered that HIQA recover its costs from the registered provider.

The more recent Silvergrove case endorsed the Pakenham judgment. In this case, the registered provider of a designated centre for older people sought to quash the decision of the Chief Inspector to cancel the registration of the designated centre by way of judicial review in the High Court. The registered provider also sought a number of declarations on certain matters related to the Notice of Cancellation, including a declaration that the Chief Inspector had no function to inspect and register nursing homes during certain dates between 2014–2017. The High Court rejected this argument, refused the registered provider’s application and awarded costs to HIQA. Please note that this judgment is unapproved and may be subject to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Pakenham judgment can be found here.

The Silvergrove judgment can be found here.