North West Parents & Friends Association


Our Mission

Our Story

In 1963, the Association was spurred on by the vision of one courageous young Sligo mother who refused to take “No” for answer, when she desperately sought help for her son with special needs. In that year, a small group of parents’ of children with special needs and a few supporters came together armed with little more than hope and the will to work. They formed the first ”North West Association of Parents and Friends, and began by providing voluntary assistance for the Sisters of La Sagesse, in their work for people with intellectual disabilities/special needs at Cregg House, Sligo.

Today, North West Parents and Friends (NWPF) has grown into a major providerof services topersons with Intellectual Disabilities in the North West of Ireland. More than 60 staff are employed in seven locations in Sligo, Carrick on Shannon and Enniscrone, providing care and support to more than 80 service users. Our services span Day Centres; Pre-school; Community Group Homes and respite care.

St. Ciarans Services NWPF Carrick-on-Shannon
St. Ciarans Services NWPF Carrick-on-Shannon

Our Organisation

As an organisation, NWPF is governed by the Health Act 2007 (Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Persons Children and Adults with Disabilities) Regulations (2013) with the detailed requirements for service provision specified in the Statutory Instruments (S.I. No, 367 of 2013).

As a charity, NWPF is required to be compliant with the Charities Governance Code and is subject to the Statutory Regulations with oversight of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). HIQA undertake a number of planned and unplanned inspections in all our facilities to ensure compliance to the Statutory Regulations.

In order to ensure the continuous quality improvement of our services, NWPF has been externally accredited by IQ (Improving Quality) at Foundation level. In March 2023, NWPF will be seeking IQ Accreditation at ‘Progression’ level – the highest level available under the quality assurance scheme.

Our Governance Arrangements

In addition to the conformance to national requirements, NWPF is managed under the direction of a Board of Directors oversee the provision of services.

The Board of Directors are volunteers with many having served on the Board for many years.

The Board comprises:

The members of the Board bring extensive experience of service delivery in the area of Intellectual Disability, some as recipients of Intellectual Disability services in their role as carers. Other members have a background in business and academia.

The principle responsibilities of the Board which meets every 2 months are to develop and approve the Annual Strategic Plan; to monitor performance of the organisation at large and to approve the Annual financial accounts.

The Chief Executive is accountable to the Board and responsible for the operational management of NWPF. Dr Nigel McCarley is the Chief Executive and brings to the position many years of experience in health and social care both nationally, and internationally and joined NWPF in July 2022.

The primary responsibility of the Chief Executive is:

  • To manage the efficient and effective delivery of services provided by NWPF.
  • To provide management within the context of the strategy of NWPF and national strategies as provided by the HSE, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and other relevant statutory bodies.
  • To provide leadership and line management through performance management of head office and local services provided through NWPF (to include financial and human resources).


In addition to responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nigel McCarley is also the designated Person in Charge of the Community Group Homes in Sligo, approved by HIQA. The principle responsibility of the Person in Charge is to provide significant leadership in the management of services and ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory standards.

Governance is further strengthened in the form of the Quality, Risk and Safety Management Committee (QRSM). The QRSM comprises senior staff from management and administration andsenior staff from each of the facilities.

The primary role of the QRSM is to overseethe development of policies; monitoring adverse incidents and ensuring necessary corrective actions are taken; ensure compliance with Health and Safety legislation; conduct risk assessmentsacross the organisation and ensure compliance with Infection Prevention and Control processes and procedures.

Organisation Chart

Our Senior Staff

Our Senior staff are supported by circa 75 staff (both clinical and non-clinical) in delivering support and care to our 80+ service users.