What we do

Independent Health and Care Providers (ihcp) is a non-profit making organisation representing private, voluntary, charitable and church affiliated providers of health and social care. Our members provide nursing and residential homes, housing with care schemes and domiciliary and day care. Services are provided for older people, for vulnerable adults, including those with learning disabilities or mental health problems and for those people with other special needs. Our members employ over 9000 staff to care for over 4,500 people in care homes and sheltered housing and thousands more in their own homes

IHCP members provide care for some 11,000 people in residential and nursing homes and thousands of others who either live in housing with care schemes or in their own homes. ihcp members employ over 10,000 staff.

ihcp is a Northern Ireland based organisation looking after the interests of its members in Northern Ireland and those for whom our members care

ihcp is a member of the Five Nations Care Forum which enables representative care organisations for England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to explore emerging models of care delivery, registration, regulation and government policy and identify areas of common concern; promoting inter-country collaboration where this will be of value to service users and citizens.

The Forum meets twice annually, providing platform to discuss and inform practice in each administration, challenge and share successes, provide a forum for peer review and support through information sharing, ideas, lessons learned, identification of potential problems and possible solutions. Further information on the 5 Nations Forum will be placed on the ihcp website.

In promoting the delivery of quality care and improved outcomes through sustainable provision, members of the 5 Nations Care Forum believe there are six key aspects that need to guide our alliance:

    • personalised care and support services with choice and control
    • the development of the workforce in social care
    • media image and public perceptions
    • public policy relating to care and support
    • regulation and inspection, and
    • models of sustainable funding.


Strategic Themes

Positive change that enables members to provide and maintain good quality care services

  • Engage with policy makers on strategic workforce planning
  • Support Quality Improvement Programmes
  • Work to achieve fair funding that maintains good quality and compliant care standards.
  • Work to influence fit for purpose, consistent and proportionate regulatory assessment.


Improve engagement with, and benefits for, our members

  • Increase membership across the sector to continue to build a united voice which is heard and acted upon
  • Further develop engagement methods to communicate with all members and to encourage membership participation
  • Further develop the programme of membership benefits including service discounts
  • Run bi-annual independent Care Awards recognising the value and quality of work provided by individuals in the sector


Increase public awareness about the quality services provided by members

  • Increase engagement with the media
  • Promote positive care stories
  • Promote the National Care Home Open day
  • Promote the ‘My Home Life’ Programme


Build constructive engagement to ensure those in key decision making positions listen and take appropriate action

  • Ensure the issues impacting on independent health and social care are understood by political representatives
  • Liaise with the HSC Board and Trusts and represent members views as policy is formulated
  • Represent the sector at strategic forums and respond to policy consultations
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