Draft Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services

Status: Published on

HIQA and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are developing Draft Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services. These standards will cover all health and social care services working with children including hospital services, disability services, mental health services, children’s social services, and GP and primary care services. These standards set out what outcomes a child should expect and what a service provider needs to do to achieve these outcomes.

By providing a common framework for all health and social care services working with children, the overarching standards aim to promote clarity, consistency and continuity within and between services to ensure that no matter what health or social care services a child is using, that there is a consistent and coordinated response to their needs and that services will work in an integrated way to improve the experience and outcomes of children using these services. 

The draft national standards are underpinned by four principles. These four principles are:

  • a children’s rights-based approach
  • safety and wellbeing
  • responsiveness
  • accountability.

It is envisioned that these 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. For example, in parallel with the overarching standards, HIQA is also developing National Standards for Children’s Social Services to apply to foster care, special care units, children’s residential centres and child protection and welfare services, which will sit underneath and be aligned with these overarching standards.

The draft national standards will apply to all health and social care services caring for and supporting children including: 
•    hospitals
•    residential and community mental health services
•    residential and community services for children with disabilities
•    children’s social services, and
•    GP and primary care services.

Having undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement to date, including a scoping consultation and focus groups to inform the development of the draft standards, HIQA and the MHC are now holding a public consultation from 16 September 2021 to 28 October 2021. The public consultation gives people the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft standards and become involved in the development process by submitting their views to us. 

As these standards will apply to a wide range of health and social care services, we welcome feedback from children and young people using services, their families, staff working with children and young people, advocates, and policy makers.

We will carefully assess all feedback received and use it, along with other available evidence, to further develop the draft national standards.

The fastest way is to complete the online questionnaire.

Your comments can also be submitted by downloading and completing the consultation feedback form below and then emailing your completed form to us at: standards@hiqa.ie

Alternatively, you can complete and post the completed form to us at:
Health Information and Quality Authority
Draft Overarching National Standards for the Care and Support of Children using Health and Social Care Services
Dublin Regional Office
George’s Court, George’s Lane
Smithfield, Dublin 7
D07 E98Y

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

At the end of this public consultation, your comments will be collated and will inform the development of the draft national standards. HIQA and the MHC will also be running focus groups to further inform the development of these standards.

The consultation feedback form is available online or in pdf format below.

HIQA and the MHC have published an evidence review which summarises the national, international and academic evidence on best practices for children using health and social care services, this ensures that the standards are evidence-based and fit for purpose in an Irish context. 

For further information or if you have any questions, you can email the Standards Team at standards@hiqa.ie or call 01 814 7400 and ask to speak to a member of the Standards Team.

  • Consultation feedback form