Wednesday, 25 May 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
106. Dr. Twomey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her plans to introduce legislation which will establish an inspectorate, independent of the HSE, to examine all nursing homes (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17765/05]
120. Mr. O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her plans to introduce legislation requiring that all nursing home inspectors’ reports are put into the public domain on a regular basis and made available on the Internet; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17650/05]
121. Dr. Twomey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her plans to introduce legislation to expand the role of nursing home inspectors to include public homes and homes run by voluntary bodies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17651/05]
122. Mr. O’Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the legislation that ensures patient safety in nursing homes following adverse findings in nursing home inspector reports; if her Department or a regional health office will close an inadequate nursing home; if so, the circumstances under which a nursing home can be closed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17652/05]
The Nursing Home (Care and Welfare) Regulations 1993 set out the standards the private nursing home sector must adhere to for the purpose of registration under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990. The regulations only apply to the private nursing home sector and do not cover public long-stay facilities for older people.
In general, where problems occur, the inspection team that inspects the private nursing home will discuss its findings in detail with the owner-operators and this will generally ensure that the matters raised will be addressed. The HSE may remove a nursing home from its register or refuse to register a nursing home if it is of the opinion that, inter alia, the premises to which the application or, as the case may be, the registration relates do not comply with the regulations; or the continuance of services in the home will not be or is not in compliance with the regulations.
There is a commitment to provide a statutory basis for the social services inspectorate and to extend its remit to include services for older people including long-stay facilities for older people, both public and private. In the interim, work has been carried out in a number of Health Service Executive areas on developing standards for residential care for older people. At the same time the Irish Health Services Accreditation Board has commenced work on examining the development of accreditation standards for residential care for older people, both public and private. In this regard it is developing a pilot programme which includes both public long-stay units and private nursing homes.
With regard to inspectors’ reports on nursing homes to be put into the public domain, while the reports are not published or put on the Internet, they may be made available by the HSE upon request. There are no plans to introduce legislation in this regard at present.
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