Residents of disability services tell HIQA about their right to have their voices heard and their choices respected

Date of publication:

To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 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, residents’ groups from 18 different parts of Ireland invited HIQA inspectors to attend their residents’ meetings. The report highlights what residents told inspectors about their rights, their home, their community and the people that are most important in their lives. 

Launching the report today, HIQA’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Social Services, Finbarr Colfer, said: “Listening to what residents tell us is an important part of our work and is crucial in helping us to understand what life is like for residents, living in their home. 

“The report backs up the findings of our recent overview report on the inspection and regulation of disability services, where we found that people with disabilities living in congregated settings have a poorer quality of life. Residents who moved out of big, institutional settings told inspectors that they now have more of a voice in smaller homes. Some of them told us that when they moved from larger settings to smaller homes in the community, they were pleased that they were offered a choice about who they would like to live with.”

Residents also told inspectors that they thought inspections were an important way to ensure that they are provided with good quality support and also made suggestions about how HIQA could improve the inspection process. For example, one resident said that “HIQA should talk to residents before they leave about the findings.”

Mr Colfer, continued: “We are using the information given to us by residents to improve the way we carry out our inspections, focusing on the way we engage with residents during inspections and ensuring the aspects that residents have identified as important to them are included. We will meet more residents’ groups in 2021 to listen and use the views of residents to improve our inspection work.”
The report is available here.


Further information:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement
01 814 7480/085 805 5202, 


Notes to Editor:

  • As at 31 December 2019, there were 1,268 registered designated centres for people with disabilities, providing places for 9,064 residents.
  • Last year, HIQA carried out 1,016 inspections in designated centres for people with disabilities.
  • HIQA wrote to 82 disability organisations and explained why we wanted to meet with residents. Residents’ groups associated with 41 providers invited us to join their meetings and we met 171 residents during these meetings.
  • Inspectors seek residents’ views on different aspects of day-to-day life in the centre during inspection in a number of ways. This can be through gathering written feedback using questionnaires, communicating directly with residents, communicating with residents through an advocate, meeting groups of residents or observing what day-to-day life is like for residents.
  • HIQA met with residents to discuss two key areas:
    • 1. What is important to you in your home?
    • 2. How can HIQA learn from what you told us?