Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I have been lobbying the Health Minister, and his predecessor, to improve the powers of RQIA following concerns around the regulation of care homes across Northern Ireland including Cherry Tree nursing home. For instance, regulators often relied upon the word of nursing home managers that standards were being adhered to, rather than checking for themselves.
“I have been calling for a more robust enforcement policy for RQIA and hope that the Minister will implement all the findings and recommendations of this report to ensure that the report is turned into reality.
“I am pleased that this report contains several recommendations which could improve the regulation of care and nursing homes, especially around unannounced inspections and whistle-blowers. I hope that this report will ensure that standards at all care homes are increased and we won’t see a repetition of the problems that took place at Cherry Tree and other similar homes.”