Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response

Examination of HIQA Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Nursing Homes in Ireland

Ms Susan Cliffe:

Some of them were. Every inspection is a follow-up unless it is a new centre. In all inspections we look to see what was found on the previous inspection because we need to see if remedial action that was required at that time has been implemented and to hold providers to account for commitments they gave us in the previous inspection. Unless it was a new centre, there would have been a follow-up inspection but what we have prioritised in these ongoing risk inspections are the regulations most pertinent to the current context of Covid-19 so it is about infection prevention and control, residents' rights, healthcare, management of behaviours, and the premises. It is those kind of regulations. Our inspections now, as the expert advisory group acknowledged, are quite labour intensive at the moment. We have to send more inspectors into nursing homes than previously to accommodate for Covid-19 so the 106 inspections we have done since the end of May have quantified at approximately 267 inspector days. We are out there and we are continuing to inspect and as we induct our new staff, the frequency of inspection will increase.