About NHQI

Originally established in 2010, the group came together as volunteers in response to an invitation from HIQA to nursing home residents and their relatives to join a service user forum. At that time, the establishment of the Forum was cited by HIQA as a first step towards the creation of a wider network of service user contributors in relation to both nursing homes and other social service sectors within their remit. However, this has not happened and HIQA is now following a different engagement strategy. The core group that remained active now operates independently of HIQA, has recruited new members, and continues to be committed to improving the quality of life of nursing home residents.

Our Mission

Be a voice for residents in nursing homes and their relatives.
Work with other interested stakeholders to drive excellence in standards of care.
Improve the quality of life for older people in residential care in Ireland

Our Vision

A nursing home service that is:
Responsive to individual needs
Moves away from institutional culture and practices
Respects individual human rights

Our Goal

Listen and engage with service users
Influence operational and strategic decision making for the regulation of the sector
Influence quality driven services for people in nursing homes
Help drive continuous learning and improvement

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Our Priorities

NHQI has laid out its priorities in a six-point plan, which calls for:


An independent complaints resolution process

The absence of an independent and timely procedure for handling complaints is one of the more glaring omissions from HIQA’s current model. This state of affairs has been a cause of much distress ..


Proper consultation with residents and relatives

The establishment of the Nursing Home Expert Panel in response to COVID-19 was a necessary and commendable step on the part of Government. While the group was given ..


Reform of the Regulatory Framework and the Current Inspection Model

Regrettably, the national standards and regulatory process is not robustly overseen by HIQA. It is observed that they take a punitive approach via the ..


A New Culture of Quality of Compliance, Driven by the Regulator in Consultation with Service Users

There should be a public consultation process put in train to give the wider population an opportunity to contribute their views on the..


Staff Training and Improved Hygiene and Infection Control

The nursing home sector requires a champion to lead a culture change around the wearing of duty uniforms outside of the nursing home ..


A Model of Community Clinical Care and Equality of Access to Community Services

For years, nursing homes have operated in isolation with private nursing home residents denied access to routine health services open to others in the community ..



We want members, who have the time and energy to get actively involved from across Ireland but especially from areas such as the South West, South East, North West, North East and the Midlands. If you are passionate about making a difference and have a few hours to spare each week, we would love to hear from you. Activities includes monitoring news stories, developing position papers, writing letters to the media, contacting key stakeholders and developing submissions for expert panels.

Spread The Word
  • Share this website with friends/relatives and work colleagues to help spread the word
  • If you have loved ones in nursing homes, inform management about NHQI
  • If you are involved in any large community-based organisations e.g. GAA clubs, tell committee members about NHQI
  • You are welcome to forward any ideas or news for us to reference in articles and media outreach.
  • You are welcome to share both good and bad news stories with us.
Contact Us

Meet Our Team

Ray Bowe

Based in Cork, Ray Bowe joined NHQI in August 2020 and is actively committed to achieving collaborative improvements to the standards of care in the Irish Nursing Home sector. A graduate of UCC, Ray is Head of Food Safety & Quality at Musgrave, prior to which he has worked in various management positions in the food industry in Ireland and the US. He is currently Chair of the Food Safety Consultative Council of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Joe Boyle

Based in Dublin, Joe is a retired independent recruitment specialist. He formerly worked in the Irish Civil Service, where he led the Public Appointments Commission for a number of years. Joe is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and holds a Master’s in Social Science for which he researched the impact of National Standards on the quality of life of nursing home residents. Joe has observed nursing home care standards for the past 25 years through the experiences of close family members, who resided in such facilities.

Annette Condon

Based in Tipperary, Annette is one of the founder members of NHQI. Inspired by the nursing home experience of several family members and friends, Annette has been working for improvements in older person care since 2010. A Corporate Affairs professional, Annette established her own communications consultancy in 2008. She previously served as Director of Corporate Affairs for both Amgen and Dell. A graduate of UCC, Annette holds an honours degree in French and German and is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland.

Martin Cowley

Martin Cowley worked for 33 years in the Mater Hospital (including Chief Executive for 11 years) and for six years in a voluntary role on the Board of the Mater. After he retired, he served in a voluntary capacity on the Audit Committee of Leopardstown Park Hospital, a statutory provider in the nursing home sector. For five of those of those years, Martin served as Independent Chair of the Audit Committee.
While he was Chief Executive at the Mater, he established a Quality Committee, one of the first of such committees in Ireland. He was also a hospital accreditor, inspecting other hospitals. This scheme predated HIQA. Martin is a Chartered Accountant by profession-his initial appointment at the Mater was Financial Controller.

Mary Rose Gough

Based in Dublin, Mary Rose brings to NHQI over 25-years’ experience in the education sector in America and Ireland. A nursing home volunteer for over 40 years, Mary Rose has served on various nursing home committees and services for people with intellectual disabilities, including the Board of the Parents, Family And Friends Association of St John of God Carmona Services for 15 years.
For 18 years, Mary Rose was the primary carer for both her mother and brother, who had Downs Syndrome. Her mother spent the last eight years of her life in a nursing home while Mary Rose’s brother lived part-time in residential care before becoming ill and spending the last three years of his life at home.

Gabriella Hanrahan

Based in Co Clare and inspired by HQIA’s commitment to institutional, cultural, governance and legislative reforms in Irish nursing homes, Gabriella joined the team in 2020. She holds an honours BA degree in Philosophy, Sociology and Political science from NUIG and a first-class Master’s Degree in Social Science Research from UL. In 2010, Gabriella established at UL the Community Liaison Office (CLO) for the purpose of contributing to the development of civically engaged higher education institutions in Ireland. Gabriella focuses on the creation of reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationships with diverse communities both within and outside UL and in so doing employs the principles underpinning emancipatory work and civic engagement philosophies and practices.

Contact Us

021 4824351