Practical Preparation for Homecare Regulation

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Homecare is an essential service which allows people to receive care within their home. As the demand for homecare increases year on year, it is accepted that the preferred place of care for many people is in their own home. Consequently, as the demand for homecare grows, HIQA (2021) acknowledge

it would be remiss not to reinforce the critical need to expedite the introduction of homecare regulation……. investment in regulatory reform is needed to ensure that the services provided have the capacity and capability to deliver health and social services that meet the needs of the population in a manner that is safe and protects the rights of the citizens of Ireland”.

Given that HIQA are keen to progress the regulation and monitoring of homecare services in Ireland, we prepared this blog as an opportunity to reflect on HIQA’s monitoring of other health and social care settings, in particular the residential care settings for older people. HIQA have been monitoring nursing homes since 2007 and as such there is a vast amount of learnings that can be taken from HIQA’s monitoring of residential care settings for older people which can be used to guide us in our approach to preparing for homecare regulation.

Objectives of Homecare Regulation

  1. to improve performance and quality of homecare
  2. to provide assurance to people in receipt of homecare and to the public that minimally acceptable standards are achieved
  3. to provide accountability both for levels of performance and value for money.

What can we expect regulation to look like?

The Department of Health intends to outline the minimum requirements that providers must meet to hold a licence to operate. HIQA is currently developing draft national standards for home support services to complement the regulations being developed by the government. Once these standards come into effect, HIQA will monitor and manage compliance with the regulatory requirements and standards.

Learnings from Residential Care Sector

HCI review the inspection findings of residential care centres for older people on a quarterly basis and publish these findings as a report. From our reviews we can identify the seven common areas of non-compliance in the residential care sector.

  1. Governance and Management
  2. Assessment and Care Planning
  3. Policies and Procedures
  4. Incident Management
  5. Risk Management
  6. Training and Staff Development
  7. Records

Summary of HIQA Findings in Residential Care Settings for Older People

Governance and Management HIQA Findings

Assessment and Care Planning

Policies and Procedures

Incident Management

Risk Management

Training & Staff Development

Record Findings

How can HCI help?

With the new regulation of homecare comes challenges and opportunities for your organisation. HCI recognise that resources and knowledge of such a regulatory environment may be limited and so we are here to help reduce the burden of compliance. HCI has been working with health and social care organisations over 17 years, supporting them in building Quality and Safety Management Systems that fulfil regulatory requirements and drive improvement in their services.

HCI offer a number of services that will support you in preparing for regulation:

Gap Analysis against the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare

If you are interested in getting a baseline assessment of where you stand in terms of implementing the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare, then HCI can conduct a Gap Analysis of your service against the standards. We will provide you with a comprehensive report detailing the areas of good practice and areas for improvement, develop Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) to address areas of concern and support you to implement the QIPs.


HIQA, 2021. The Need for Regulatory Reform

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