Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Health

HSE Investigations

Ruairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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782. To ask the Minister for Health if the HSE will establish an inquiry into the deaths of 23 persons from Covid-19 at a nursing home (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6692/20]

Photo of Jim DalyJim Daly (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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Since 2009 the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, is the statutory independent regulator in place for the nursing home sector, whether a HSE managed or a private nursing home. The Authority, established under the Health Act 2007, has significant and wide-ranging powers up to and including withdrawing the registration of a nursing home facility, which means that it can no longer operate as a service provider.

This responsibility is underpinned by a comprehensive quality framework comprising of Registration Regulations, Care and Welfare Regulations and National Quality Standards.

HIQA, in discharging its duties, determines, through examination of all information available to it, including site inspections, whether a nursing homes meets the regulations in order to achieve and maintain its registration status.

Should a nursing home be deemed to be non-compliant with the Regulations and the National Quality Standards, it may either fail to achieve or lose its registration status. In addition, the Chief Inspector has wide discretion in deciding whether to impose conditions of Registration on nursing homes.   

During the response to COVID-19, Nursing homes continue to be regulated by HIQA, who under the Health Act 2007 have the legal authority to examine the operation of any facility under their remit.

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