From a Letter to the Irish Times – September 2020
A chara, – The Ombudsman is to be commended for drawing attention to a gap in the complaints system available to nursing home residents and their families (Simon Carswell, “Further powers to investigate complaints over deaths in care sought”, News, September 8th). The reality is that there is no effective independent complaints procedure in the regulatory system for nursing homes overseen by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
I write as a concerned citizen, part of a small voluntary relatives group, working for better care and quality of life in Irish nursing homes.
Readers will recall that a new system of regulation for nursing homes was set up in 2009 under HIQA, as the State’s response to the Leas Cross scandal exposed by RTÉ in 2005. The absence of an independent and timely procedure for handling complaints is one of the more glaring omissions from the HIQA model.
This state of affairs has been a cause of much distress and frustration for countless nursing home residents and their families over these past 11 years.
Recent tragic cases highlighted in the media serve to underline the need to have this gap in the regulatory model for Irish nursing homes closed as a matter of urgency. – Yours, etc,
Shankill, Dublin 18.