The Department of Health has published the Crowe report: Review of Nursing Homes Complaints Policies.
The Older Persons Policy Development Unit of the Department of Health commissioned Crowe to undertake a review of nursing homes complaints policies in Ireland and internationally to inform policy developments in respect of non-clinical complaints policies in nursing homes. The Older Persons Policy Development Unit sits within the Social Care Division and is overseeing a range of policy and legislative reforms relating to recommendations from the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report.
As part of this review, we reviewed current complaints policies from a sample of long-term residential care facilities for older people, reviewed policies in a number of comparator countries, and engaged with key stakeholders to gain their perspectives on current complaints procedures, including suggestions for improvement and their views on what an ideal complaints policy might look like.
The Crowe review highlighted the following key principles of good complaints policies to promote consistency and align with good practice:
- resolution of complaints at a local, informal level, where possible
- positive complaints culture
- establishment of good practices
- greater standardisation
- more independent roles
- access to advocacy
- underpinned by legislation
The recommendations from the review were used to inform amendments to the regulations applying to nursing homes in order to support best practice and standardisation of complaints processes and access to independent advocacy services. The amendments will provide improved access to independent advocacy services and greater standardisation of complaints processes in long-term residential care facilities for older people.
Welcoming the amendments and the publication of the review, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler said, "It is really important for residents and their families to have access to advocacy services and a robust complaints process across all long-term residential care facilities for older people. It is important to remember that long-term residential care facilities for older people are residents’ homes. The voice and choice of older people should be heard and respected, and these new amendments will further support this. I would like to thank all long-term residential care facilities for older people for their cooperation in this regard.
"As emphasised in the Crowe review, it is critical that we further build on good practice across the sector, to embed a positive complaints culture that enables issues to be responded to quickly and, more broadly, can be a driver for quality improvement."
Crowe’s consulting department has extensive experience helping and advising clients in Ireland across diverse sectors, from multinational organisations and major public bodies to local businesses and not-for-profit entities.