New HSE Guidelines for Nursing Home Visits
The statutory framework governing the provision of care services, accommodation and goods within residential care settings, to include nursing homes, is set out in the Health Act 2007, as amended. The Health Act provides for a robust framework for the registration, inspection and on-going regulatory supervision of designated centres in Ireland. Ministerial Regulations together with the HIQA Standards complement the Health Act, and all operators of nursing homes are subject to the regulatory supervision of the Chief Inspector of Social Services.
Nursing home providers operate within a heavily regulated sector and in the face of COVID-19, operators must, on the one hand balance their obligations to protect elderly and vulnerable residents and staff from the risk of introduction of COVID-19, and on the other to respect and support visits to residents. In this regard, the HSE has issued extensive guidance notes on visits to nursing homes which will take effect on 7 December 2020.