Ireland: Are You Ready To Meet The 2022 Deadline? Statutory Required Improvements To Nursing Home Premises By January 2022

Last Updated: 27 September 2019
Article by Joanelle O’Cleirigh and Grace-Ann Meghen

The Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 came into operation on 1 July 2014 with the purpose of establishing an improved system of care.

Its implementation required widespread changes in the provision of care to older persons, meaning that if you are a care provider for the elderly or if you are contemplating investing, there are a number of compliance requirements which need to be taken into account.

We previously set out the key trends in the change of profile of designated centres for older people here.

The 2013 Regulations cover a range of areas to include staffing, nutrition, governance, risk management and safety, to mention but a few, however the most financially burdensome of the 2013 Regulations are those which relate to the physical premises. Regulation 17(1) imposes the general requirement that premises are "appropriate to the number and needs of the residents of that centre and in accordance with the statement of purpose". Regulation 17(2) states that a registered provider of a designated centre for older people must provide premises which conform to the matters set out in Schedule 6.

The 2013 Regulations were amended by the 2016 Regulations, particularly Schedule 6. The 2016 Regulations came into effect in June 2016 and have inserted further requirements into Schedule 6. Some of these requirements came into effect in June 2016 and others have to be met by January 2022.

What is currently required of a care provider under Schedule 6?

Current requirements under Schedule 6 include that:

  • The premises must have a lay-out which meets the needs of residents; be of sound construction; and, be clean and suitably decorated;
  • There should be provided on the premises emergency call facilities, grabrails in bathroom areas, handrails on stairs and lifts where residents are on more than one level;
  • There should be provided on the premises adequate sitting and recreational space other than a resident's private accommodation;
  • The area of floor space for a resident of a bedroom in a designated centre must not be reduced from the area of floor space provided for the resident on the day the 2016 Regulations came into operation; and
  • The number of residents of a bedroom in a designated centre must not be increased from the number of residents in the bedroom on the day that the 2016 Regulations came into operation.

What will be required under Schedule 6 as of 1 January 2022?

Schedule 6 requires that on and from 1 January 2022:

  • A bedroom in a designated centre which was carrying on the business of a designated centre on or before 1 July 2009 or a part of a designated centre where such business was carried on before that date "shall have an area of not less than 7.4 m2 of floor space, which area shall include the space occupied by a bed, a chair and personal storage space, for each resident of that bedroom" and "no bedroom shall have more than 4 residents other than a high-dependency room which shall not have more than 6 residents";
  • There should be provided on the premises dining facilities for all residents which can cater to the number of residents concerned but not necessarily for all residents at the same sitting; and
  • The registered provider shall ensure that, having regard to the number of residents, there are toilets, including toilets designed to provide access for residents in wheelchairs, which are "easily accessible by, and in close proximity to, but not necessarily en suite with the bedrooms of every 8 residents."

Taking the above into account, an example is that, from 1 January 2022 there is a minimum requirement that each resident has an area of 7.4 m2 of floor space in their bedroom and that there are no more than 4 residents in a normal bedroom, however, if a resident had an area of 8m2 of floor space in their bedroom in June 2016 and there were only 3 residents in that bedroom, the resident's area of floor space cannot be reduced and the number of residents sharing with them cannot be increased. Existing providers need to carefully consider the Schedule when reconfiguring.

What happens if a care provider is non-compliant with the requirements of Schedule 6?

If you are non-compliant with the requirements of Schedule 6, your licence could be affected or you could be prosecuted.

HIQA's chief inspector can inspect a designated centre to assess whether it is in compliance with the Regulations, can attach additional conditions to a designated centre's registration following inspection and can cancel a designated centre's registration on a number of grounds, including where the centre fails to comply with any statutory provisions. Failure to comply with the 2013 and 2016 Regulations could therefore result in conditions being attached to your registration or your registration being cancelled.

It is also an offence to breach the Regulations. A registered provider guilty of such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €70,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both. A body corporate or a person purporting to act on behalf of a body corporate can also be proceeded against for such an offence where it can be proved that the offence was committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been attributable to any neglect on the part of a director, member of the committee of management or other controlling authority of the body concerned or the manager, secretary or other officer of the body concerned.

Although registered providers of designated centres for older people have until 1 January 2022 to meet some of these requirements, HIQA has indicated that many care providers are unable to comply in respect of premises requirements. In its 'Overview Report on the Regulation of Designated Centres for Older Persons – 2018', HIQA noted that Regulation 17 of the 2013 Regulations had the highest rate of regulatory non-compliance in 2018. Inspections concluded that 43% of providers were non-compliant in terms of premises standards. The report points out that the obstacle to compliance with these standards, in many cases, is the cost.

  • Learn more about our Healthcare Group here.
  • Read more about the Financial Model linked to Nursing Home closures here.
  • Read more about the landscape for investing in nursing home care in Ireland here.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions