Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
About the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
HIQA is an independent authority set up to drive high-quality and safe care for people using our health and social care services in Ireland.
HIQA’s role is to develop standards, inspect and review health and social care services and support informed decisions on how services are delivered.
HIQA aims to safeguard people and improve the safety and quality of health and social care services across its full range of functions. This includes inspecting and monitoring residential services for children, older people and people with disabilities in Ireland.
HIQA has statutory responsibility for:
- Setting Standards for Health and Social Services
- Monitoring Children’s Services
- Monitoring Healthcare Safety and Quality
- Health Technology Assessment (which involves evaluating new technologies objectively from a clinical point of view)
- Health Information (which involves advising and setting standards on the efficient and secure collection and sharing of health information or data).
HIQA: complaints and concerns
A complaint may be defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about a service which requires a response by the provider.
A concern is a piece of information given to HIQA which may be an indicator of the standard of care in a designated centre.
If you have a complaint about a service, you should in the first instance contact the provider (owner/operator of that service) who is required under The Health Act 2007 to have a clear and user friendly complaints procedure in place.
Complaints or concerns about nursing homes
The Health Act 2007 and the HIQA Standards set out what the provider should do to help residents and their relatives give feedback when they are unhappy with an aspect of the service. In addition, HIQA expects providers to understand that it is not always easy to make a complaint or discuss a concern, especially when people are in vulnerable situations. It is up to the provider to find ways of enabling people to express concerns without fearing any consequences. The provider has a legal duty to investigate complaints.
Notifying HIQA of a concern – what you can expect
HIQA welcomes information about any designated centre. While HIQA does not have the power to investigate individual complaints, it can evaluate whether the information indicates non-compliance with the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2009, as amended.
Where a concern is outside HIQA’s remit, such as a concern regarding funding, HIQA will advise you of the best direction to take. The provider has a responsibility to make sure all residents are safe and properly looked after.
All information received by HIQA will be evaluated against the regulations and standards. HIQA will record the information and let the resident or relative know what the next steps will be. The next steps will depend on the seriousness of the concern. Where residents are found to be at risk, HIQA will take appropriate action. Further information on our concerns process is available from www.hiqa.ie.
Complaints or concerns about healthcare services
Under the Health Act 2007, HIQA does not have the power to deal with individual complaints in relation to services provided by the HSE. Each service provider has a legal responsibility to respond to complaints themselves. See (insert link to HSE complaints page)
While HIQA cannot investigate your individual complaint for you, your experience of our health service is an invaluable source of information for us and we would like to hear about your experience. This is because we believe involving people who use our health services in everything we do will help improve them for everyone.
If there is a serious risk to the health and welfare of service users HIQA may undertake, or be required by the Minister for Health to undertake, an investigation into the safety, quality and standard of healthcare services.
How to advise HIQA of your concern
You can telephone, email or write a letter.
Health Information and Quality Authority
Unit 1301, City Gate