Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all health care in Wales.

HIW’s purpose is to provide independent and objective assurance on the quality, safety and effectiveness of healthcare services making recommendations to healthcare organisations to promote improvements.

It regulates independent healthcare providers against a range of standards, policies, guidance and regulations to highlight areas requiring improvement.

HIW inspections of independent healthcare services look at how services:

  • Comply with the Care Standards Act 2000
  • Comply with the Independent Health Care (Wales) Regulations 2011
  • Meet the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Independent Health Care Services in Wales.

The intention of the National Minimum Standards is to ensure that patients and people who choose private healthcare are assured of safe, quality services. These standards apply to all independent healthcare services in Wales, regardless of size and type.

HIW uses these standards to make judgements about the quality, safety and effectiveness of services provided to patients and help it determine whether the service is complying with the requirements of the Independent Health Care (Wales) Regulations.

It reports and publishes its findings from its inspections under three themes:

  • Quality of the patient experience: It speaks to patients and/or their relatives, representatives and advocates to ensure that the patients’ perspective is at the centre of its approach.
  • Delivery of safe and effective care: It considers the extent to which services provide high quality, safe and reliable care centred on the person.
  • Quality of Management and leadership: It considers how services are managed and led and whether the culture is conducive to providing safe and effective care. It also considers how services review and monitor their own performance against relevant standards and guidance.

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