Written answers

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Department of Health

Departmental Correspondence

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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979. To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide the correspondence received from the owner and managers of a facility (details supplied) dated 12 April 2020; the response issued to that correspondence; if he will provide a copy of a report on the Covid-19 outbreak at the facility which was created by officials in his Department on 11 April 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18394/20]

Photo of Mary ButlerMary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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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. In relation to this particular nursing home, I have been advised that prior to my appointment the Department received correspondence in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy and forwarded on details to HIQA as the statutory regulator for nursing homes, and the HSE for appropriate action and follow up.

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