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Nursing Home Standards welcome, enforcement must follow

11 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed new nursing home standards which come into effect from today. However Deputy Ó Caoláin has warned that in order for the independent inspections teams to carry out their work effectively the Department of Health must ensure the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) is properly resourced.

Deputy Ó Caoláin added:

"Today's introduction of standards for public and private nursing homes is to be welcomed however the HIQA must be properly resourced if it is to adequately fulfil its remit. Setting out the standards of care is a welcome achievement, but it is the enforcement of the new standards that will secure such care.

"It is disappointing that the standards of care for the elderly have not been extended beyond nursing home care. Private health facilities including government subsidised private hospitals will not be subject to the same standards and scrutiny as they do not come under the HIQA remit. Elderly patients in private health facilities must be assured of the same protections and care as those in nursing homes." CRÍOCH

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