Here are answers to questions we’ve been asked about our activity during COVID-19. We'll add more questions and answers to this page in light of the developing situation.
Is HIW open?
We are still open for business but our staff are all working from home to meet the government recommendations and to protect their health and wellbeing and that of others. This means there are a few changes in the way that we deliver our outward facing services.
As our staff are not in the office at the moment, there may be a delay in reading post. There are a few ways you can get in touch these include:
- Visiting our website.
- If you would prefer you can also call us you can do this by calling 0300 062 8163.
- Or by sending an email to HIW@gov.wales
- You can also keep up to date with our work by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
Will fees be delayed or waived in light of COVID-19 and is there any financial support available for independent providers?
Annual registration fees due from 1 April 2020 will be deferred until later in the year. You may still be invoiced, but we will not collect payment at this time. Settings with any outstanding fees from prior to this date will be contacted directly.
Details on financial support for businesses affected by COVID-19 is available on the Welsh Government website. We are not able to offer advice on financial support available to you.
Is it safe for your service stay open?
This is not something HIW can advise you on. We would direct you to the official public health and government websites and their sections on advice relating to COVID-19. These outlines exactly which businesses and services are able to stay open and deliver services during the pandemic. The overwhelming message from Government is that people should stay at home unless absolutely necessary, you should do everything you can to encourage people to follow this advice.
We are working with our colleagues in other areas of Welsh Government to ensure that any guidance and information for you as providers is disseminated. We will assist with this dissemination if required.
Please see the below links below to the latest guidance which includes advice on what services should remain open, visiting times for those providers with overnight beds and advice for businesses affected financially by COVID-19:
Please visit these pages regularly to keep up to date with any new guidance and advice that is issued.
Will services be inspected during the pandemic?
We are undertaking on-site inspections of healthcare settings where we judge it is necessary. However, we have amended our approach to inspection and assurance, which may mean that rather than a visit from us, you may receive a phone call or a request for information via other means.
Do services need to let HIW know that they are temporarily closing and when they reopen?
We want you to let us know if you are stopping services temporarily or reopening these services. There is no regulatory requirement for you to do this, but we are trying to keep track of this information. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with this information if possible.
How do services register during the coronavirus pandemic/outbreak?
Our access to posted hard copy applications or supporting documentation is limited. We would encourage you to submit your applications electronically otherwise there will be a delay in the registration team receiving your information. Please also include COVID-19 in the subject header of the email if you are planning to register a service directly involved in the COVID-19 response. We will then contact you and provide advice on the next steps. We will also be publishing specific guidance to providers registering these types of services in the next few days.
Here are some answers to common queries we have received about registration.
Registered manager interviews
We will be conducting these interviews by skype virtually for the foreseeable future. Checks of disclosure and barring and identity will also be undertaken virtually by skype and scanning.
All document checks will be done virtually in advance of the visit. You may be asked to complete a video walk through and provide photos of the environment. Visits will then be conducted as soon as the outbreak is over.
These will still be issued in hard copy and will still require signature for receipt.
We will continue to review the situation and our response to this over the coming weeks and months. We will continue to ensure that we target and focus our resources to support the healthcare system, welsh government and the public in this unprecedented and challenging time.