HIQA’s first inspections of rehabilitation and community inpatient healthcare services published

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published five reports on the first inspections of rehabilitation and community inpatient healthcare services.

This is the first time that HIQA had inspected this type of healthcare service. The inspection programme aims to monitor compliance of these healthcare services against the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare to promote quality improvement in services provided. Inspections focus on governance and risk management structures, and measures to ensure the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections and the safe use of medicines in rehabilitation and community inpatient healthcare services.

Inspections were carried out between July and December 2019 at: 

  • National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin
  • St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin
  • Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Clontarf 
  • Killarney Community Hospital, Kerry
  • and Listowel District Hospital, Kerry.

Inspectors found that one hospital, the National Rehabilitation Hospital, was compliant with  all three of the national standards assessed. While oversight of patient environment and equipment hygiene was evident in three hospitals, areas for further improvement was required in oversight of environmental hygiene in St Mary’s Hospital, and general maintenance of the physical environment and equipment in Killarney Community Hospital. 

All hospitals had good oversight of structures and processes in place for the active management of incident and risk. No high risks were identified on inspections.

Inspectors found that coordination of care within and between services took account of patients’ needs and preferences. Patients spoken with in all hospitals voiced satisfaction in relation to their care. All hospitals had processes in place to seek feedback from patients and to inform improvements.  Patient information leaflets on infection prevention and control and safe use of medicines were available in four of five hospitals. 

All hospitals had policies and procedures in place to address infection control and medicines management; however, two hospitals — Killarney Community Hospital and Listowel District Hospital — need to update their policies.

All hospitals were endeavouring to adhere with best practice and guidelines in relation to the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infection. 

Good levels of compliance in relation to mandatory staff hand hygiene training were achieved across all hospitals.

Inspectors found that a medication safety agenda was being actively progressed in all hospitals. However, a formal process to ensure all patients admitted receive accurate and timely medication reconciliation at admission, transfer of care and on discharge, supported by a policy, audit and training, needs to implemented in two hospitals: Killarney Community Hospital and Listowel District Hospital. 


Notes to Editors

  • The rehabilitation and community inpatient healthcare services inspection programme monitors compliance against the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare (2012). The focus of inspection is on governance and risk management structures, measures to ensure the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections and the safe use of medicines.
  • HIQA has developed a Guide to Rehabilitation and Community Inpatient Healthcare Services Monitoring Programme in 2019 which can be viewed at www.hiqa.ie