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Our Role

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

Last updated: 24/10/2012