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HIQA carried out an evidence review to inform the development of draft principles. The review looked at the current use of principles in Ireland and how other countries around the world have used principles in health and social care.

The developed principles will underpin all future national standards for health and social care services. These principles, once finalised, will be used as HIQA’s standards development framework, instead of the eight-theme framework which HIQA has used to develop standards since 2012. The evidence review provides an overview of the evidence gathered to inform the development of this draft set of principle

About the draft principles

The draft principles have been developed to be used consistently across all national standards developed by HIQA, irrespective of the setting or service type. The principles underpin all national standards including any guidance and tools developed to support their implementation. This will not affect existing national standards, which will remain in place until such time as a decision is made, in line with HIQA’s prioritisation process, to review and update them. Any such decision to review or update existing standards will be informed by consultation with stakeholders.

The four draft principles are:

  • a human rights-based approach,
  • safety and wellbeing,
  • responsiveness, and
  • accountability.

It is recognised that these principles are interlinked and can overlap in places. ‘Person-centred care and support’ is not viewed as a principle in itself, rather it is an approach to care, with the four principles working together to achieve person-centred care and support.

These draft principles have been used in the development of the Draft National Standards for Children’s Social services. A public consultation on these Draft standards will commence in early 2021. This will be the first time the draft principles will be used and as such will be an opportunity to test them in practice. In addition to the content of the draft standards, feedback will be sought on the principles underpinning them. Following this testing of the principles, and once feedback has been reviewed and incorporated as appropriate, the principles will be finalised and used for all future national standards for health and social care services.