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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all healthcare in Wales.
HIW’s primary focus is on:
  • Making a significant contribution to improving the safety and quality of healthcare services in Wales
  • Improving citizens’ experience of healthcare in Wales whether as a patient, service user, carer, relative or employee
  • Strengthening the voice of patients and the public in the way health services are reviewed.
  • Ensuring that timely, useful, accessible and relevant information about the safety and quality of healthcare in Wales is made available to all

HIW’s core role is to review and inspect NHS and independent healthcare organisations in Wales to provide independent assurance for patients, the public, the Welsh Assembly Government and healthcare providers, that services are safe and good quality.

Services are reviewed against a range of published standards, policies, guidance and regulations.

As part of this work HIW will seek to identify and support improvements in services and the actions required to achieve this.

If necessary, HIW will undertake special reviews and investigations where there appears to be systematic failures in delivering healthcare services, to ensure that rapid improvement and learning takes place.

 In addition, HIW is the regulator of independent healthcare providers in Wales and is the Local Supervising Authority for the statutory supervision of midwives.

HIW carries out its functions on behalf of Welsh Ministers and, although part of the Welsh Assembly Government, protocols have been established to safeguard its operational autonomy.
HIW’s main functions and responsibilities are drawn from the following legislation:

  • Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003
  • Care Standards Act 2000 and associated regulations
  • Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Health Act 2007
  • Statutory Supervision of Midwives as set out in Articles 42 and 43 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001
  • Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 and Amendment Regulations 2006
HIW works closely with other inspectorates and regulators in carrying out cross sector reviews in social care, education and criminal justice and in developing more proportionate and co-ordinated approaches to the review and regulation of healthcare in Wales.
HIW and RCPsych in Wales are working closely together and following intial meetings have identified areas of collaborative work, including:
  • Training events for staff and reviewers
  • Enhancing the improvements gained following serious incident reviews
  • Implementation of Statutory Mental Health Law


Raising Clinical/Service Concerns

There is a process enabling clinicians to raise concerns directly with HIW through a variety of channels - telephone, letter, or email to  Dr Peter Higson or Mandy Collins


HIW Reports

Monitoring the Use of the Mental Health Act 2009 - 2010

(information uploaded July 2011 - further details from

Individual review reports are available at the HIW website

Health Inspectorate Wales Newsletter

May 2012

This edition brings information on HIW forthcoming second Mental Health Act Annual Report, which sets out the key findings of the work undertaken in 2010 - 2011 by the reviewers and Second Opinion Appointed Doctors.

Also included is news on the first Dignity and Essential Care reports.

Download the English version or Welsh version

These reports focus on key aspects of essential care, safety, dignity and respect for older people..

The May 2012 newseltter is now available to download/view in either English or Welsh.

Health Inspectorate Wales

Three year programme

2012 - 2015

Healthcare Inspecorate Wales (HIW) refreshes its Three Year Plan annually with major revision every third year.  Documents for view download:

  • HIW Three year Programme 2012 - 2015
  • Letter to LHB's and UHB's - English version
  • Letter to LHB's and UHB's - Welsh version
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