Nursing Homes Ireland has utilised the influential role it plays within Irish healthcare to work towards our vision that all residents of nursing homes will receive high quality care. Ensuring such care is available to those who need it is an essential part of a well-functioning health service that is required to meet current demand and the growing care requirements of our ageing population.

Care & Welfare Regulations

The Care & Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People Regulations govern nursing homes in relation to the maintainance, care, welfare and well-being of persons in their care. They outline the regulations governing nursing homes in respect of:

  • General Welfare and Protection
  • Assessment and Care Planning
  • Health Care
  • Rights Dignity and Consultation
  • Possessions
  • Communication
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Visits
  • Clothing
  • End of Life Care
  • Complaints Procedures
  • Training & Staff Development
  • Medical Records
  • Insurance

The regulations underpin the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland and both regulations came into force on July 1st 2009.


The Health Act 2007 provided for the establishment of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). "The object of the Authority is to promote the safety and quality in the provision of health and social services for the benefit of the health and welfare of the public," the Act States. It empowers HIQA to monitor compliance of the National Quality Standards and to undertake investigations as to the safety, quality and standards of services in nursing homes. The Act provides such authority if HIQA believes on reasonable grounds that:

  • There is a serious risk to the health or welfare of a person
  • The risk may be as a result of a failure to act or negligence on behalf of the HSE, a service provider, a registered provider.

Health Act 2007 (Care & Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People)(Amendment) Regulations 2010


Ongoing engagement

Since HIQA's establishment, NHI has consistently engaged with the indepdendent Authority to address issues relating to the implementation of the Care & Welfare of Residents Regulations. Meetings are held on a regular basis to discuss issues pertaining to implementation of the Standards and the HIQA inspection regime.  A Statement of Understanding between HIQA and NHI is based on a mutual recognition of the importance of raising and maintaining standards through efficient and effective practice of registered providers and the regulator. It advises of mutual areas of understanding for the meetings between HIQA and NHI.


High Level Review of the HIQA Inspection Process for Residential Care Settings for Older People (July 2010), Prospectus Strategy Consultants

An NHI commissioned Prospectus Strategy Consultants report detailing the findings of a high-level review of the inspection process for residential care settings was published in July 2010. The review used a number of approaches to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the inspection process. A total of 29 recommendations were developed by Prospectus based on the findings of the review to support the continuous improvement of the inspection process. The review findings were based on 133 responses received to a questionnaire. You can access the report here.



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