Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD says a new report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is positive as it shows a culture of compliance is being built in healthcare, although much work still needs to be done to strengthen this culture.

Deputy Donnelly made the comments following the publication of HIQA’s 2017 overview of its regulation of social care and healthcare services.

Deputy Donnelly said, “It is very clear that, overall, HIQA is building a real culture of compliance and that is to be welcomed. Their 2017 overview contains much that is heartening and reassuring about standards of care in nursing homes and in disability centres. Its judgement that many nursing home providers are now striving beyond basic compliance with regulations and looking to achieve quality improvement is encouraging.

“The number of nursing homes that is now fully compliant doubled year on year and the challenge now will be to move beyond compliance to achieve best practice.

“Nonetheless it is clear that despite the progress, much more remains to be done. For example, the level of compliance with the health and safety and risk management outcome in disability centres was less than 50% last year. Standards here include fire safety, infection control, managing violence and aggression, and maintenance of the physical environment so to have more centres non-compliant has got to be a cause for serious concern.

“Helpfully HIQA cite many examples of good practice in some centres that others will hopefully learn from.

“HIQA also reiterates its concerns about governance and safeguarding of vulnerable adults and clearly this is something that requires a sustained focus. Changing demographics with an ageing society and the increasing levels of disability that may bring require us to ensure that our health and social care services are beyond reproach.”