Introduction

On 17th September 2020, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published COVID-19 – An assurance framework for registered providers – preparedness planning and Infection prevention and control measures.

The framework is applicable to Registered Providers of designated centres for older people and for people with disabilities and has been developed against the National Standards for infection prevention and control in community settings.


Purpose of the Assurance Framework

The purpose of the Assurance Framework is to:

  • Assist registered providers to critically assess their preparedness, contingency and outbreak management plans.
  • Provide assurance that the infection prevention and control practices in their centres are safe.
  • Assist Registered Providers to develop better overall infection prevention and control skills and capacity within their services.
  • Assist Registered Providers to be prepared for the possibility of further outbreaks of COVID-19 in designated centres.

Framework Components

The framework is divided into three components, a guidance document, a self-assessment tool and a quality improvement template.

  • Guidance Document: This will support Registered Providers in assuring that there is effective infection prevention and control practices in place.
  • Self-Assessment Tool: This will help to identify areas of good practice and areas requiring improvement in relation to infection prevention and control.
  • Quality Improvement Template: This sets out an action plan for registered providers to address the areas for improvement.

Self-Assessment

The Assurance Framework’s Self-Assessment Tool is divided into two overarching dimensions called Capacity and capability and Quality and safety. Within these dimensions are the eight themes as published in the National Standards for infection prevention and control in community settings, those being:

  1. Theme 1: Person-centred Care and Support
  2. Theme 2: Effective Care and Support
  3. Theme 3: Safe Care and Support
  4. Theme 4: Better Health and Wellbeing
  5. Theme 5: Leadership, Governance and Management
  6. Theme 6: Workforce
  7. Theme 7: Use of Resources
  8. Theme 8: Use of Information

Under each theme there are a series of statements relating to the theme and providers will be required to answer Yes or No to the statements. When complete, the Registered Provider will be asked to make a judgment about their performance against the national standards under that particular theme. The Quality Improvement Plan should then be prepared based on the identified areas for improvement.

Registered Providers are required to continuously review the actions update the self-assessment every 12 weeks.

Providers are not required to submit the tool to HIQA but inspectors may ask to review the self-assessment tool and quality improvement plans during an inspection.


Conclusion

Effective Prevention and Control Practices are essential to ensure safe and effective care. Utilising this new assessment framework will support Registered Providers to implement enhanced Infection prevention and control measures and ensure preparedness in the event of further outbreaks of COVID-19 or another infectious disease.

If you would like information on how HCI can support you with implementing robust infection prevention and control measures see link below or contact HCI on 093 36126. https://www.healthcareinformed.com/services/infection-prevention-and-control/

Contact HCI

For more information contact info@hci.care or Phone +353 (0)1 6292559.