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Sinn Féin welcome new standards for Care Homes

24 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed the Michael McGimpsey announcement of new standards for care Homes. The announcements comes two weeks after party colleague John O'Dowd exposed the extent of poor management in a number of Nursing and Care Homes across the North.

Ms Ní Chuilín:

"While I welcome the introduction of the new care standards for nursing and residential care homes across the North the key must be effective monitoring and if required prompt action against any home falling below the standards that people demand.

"Michael McGimpsey's response comes just two weeks after John O'Dowd exposed the extent of poor management in 21 Nursing and Care Homes across the North where 'Failure to Comply' Notices were issued by the Regulatory Authority (the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority - RQIA). The notices included;

  • failure to properly manage medicines,
  • failure to provide treatment to meet individual needs,
  • failure to ensure a qualified nurse is working in a nursing home at all times,
  • failure to report misconduct by staff against residents, and
  • failure to ensure food and drink are provided in adequate quantitative at appropriate intervals, properly prepared and wholesome nutritious suitable for the needs of residents.

"While these failings were been detected by the RQIA and the homes involved told of their failings and that is to be welcomed, in some instances I believe the sanctions handed down by the RQIA fail to reflect the magnitude of the failings

"Despite some very serious failures being identified not one prosecution against any home or individual has been taken despite provision in legislation for such action.

"If we are to ensure the safety of the vulnerable we must ensure that those tasked with their care are under no doubt that the full force of the law will be brought to bear if they fail in their duty. It is also vital that those responsible for monitoring the care sector such as the RQIA use the all the powers available to them to ensure people in care homes are fully protected." ENDS

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