HIQA highlights need for regulatory reform of health and social care services

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter


HIQA report shows need for regulatory reform

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is calling for reform to health and social care regulations. 

The report summarises HIQA’s experience of regulating social care services over the past 12 years and outlines the changes HIQA believes are required to make regulation fit for purpose into the future.

HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn said: “Social care is changing and evolving. Based on our experience as regulator, we have suggested some changes to current legislation and regulations, which we believe will better support our most vulnerable. 

“HIQA’s engagement in the monitoring and regulation of various health and social care services has offered it a wealth of knowledge on the quality and safety of services, as well as the weaknesses of the regulatory framework.”

Mr Quinn says the report key components of regulatory reform that need attention, such as:

consideration to be given for the development of a comprehensive, integrated social care policy that considers social care in its totality alongside Sláintecare;

a comprehensive review of the current regulations pertaining to social care services in Ireland, and the establishment of a regular review process;

the reform of the Health Act 2007 to take account of the changing landscape in health and social care services;

the introduction of regulation into other forms of care that are currently unregulated and whose service users may be vulnerable

a framework that makes a clear distinction between the purchaser and provider of services along with clear governance and accountability arrangements.

“This is now an opportune moment for society and the Oireachtas to reflect on the learning from regulation over the past decade, and chart a path forward that is representative of modern social care services,” said Mr Quinn. “We hope that the recommendations from our report form an integral part of the debate around how we can better care for all citizens into the future.”

HIQA’s recommendations serve to complement the objectives set out in Sláintecare by furthering the commitment to delivering person-centred care in the right place and at the right time for all. 

The full report is available on www.hiqa.ie