Galway Brothers of Charity welcomes new national standards

People with disabilities living in residential centres have the right to be safe, to receive good care and support, and to have access to services which enable them to live a fulfilling life.

That is according to the The Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA ) which has just published its draft national standards for residential centres for people with disabilities.

Welcoming the document, the Galway Brothers of Charity Services say these standards make statements about the kind of residential services that should be available to people who have disability.

“HIQA states that people with disabilities who live in residential care centres, whether adults or children, have the right to be safe, to receive good care and support and to have access to the services they need to enable them to live a fulfilling life. They believe that the national standards will help form the basis on which people with disabilities living in residential care can achieve these very important outcomes.

“The standards will apply to all residential services to people with disabilities, whether operated by public, private or voluntary bodies or agencies, and it is expected that once the standards are finalised, registration by service providers will begin in 2013. This will then lead to inspections by HIQA of all registered centres, whether they are managed by private, public or voluntary organisations.”

Anne Geraghty, the director of services with the Brothers of Charity, says that service providers have been asking for standards to be established for a “very long time” and welcome the publication of the draft standards.

“In the absence of mandatory national standards, many service providers had independently sought external inspection, evaluation and accreditation. The Brothers of Charity Services in Galway achieved accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL ) in 2009. CQL is an international organisation that specifically sets standards for services to people who have intellectual disability and benchmarks organisations against those standards. The CQL approach is Personal Outcomes Measures and these benchmarks are similar in many ways to the HIQA draft standards.”

HIQA is seeking feedback on the draft standards which are available on its website at www.hiqa.ie Ms Geraghty is encouraging people with disabilities, their families and the public to air their views. The final date for receipt of submissions by HIQA is 5pm on Wednesday November 21.

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