Dickson welcomes Commissioner for Older People’s review into care homes

Alliance East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has welcomed the decision by the Commissioner for Older People, Claire Keatinge, to launch a review of care home standards following several examples of poor practice, including Cherry Tree House nursing home in Carrickfergus.

Mr Dickson had raised the poor standards of care at Cherry Tree nursing home with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Department of Health. His office worked on behalf of a number of relatives of former residents, who had concerns about the care provided to their loved ones.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I am glad to see the Commissioner for Older People launch this review. After the publication of an independent report into concerns raised about the standard of care at Cherry Tree nursing home, I indicated that there must be a review of how these homes are regulated.

“The report identified numerous shortcomings, including the failure of the RQIA to take appropriate robust action on occasions.

“I believe other questions arise out of the report’s findings, such as why Health Trusts continued to place patients in Cherry Tree when it was consistently failing to comply with minimum standards of care.

“It is also abundantly clear that, under current procedures, managers and staff are not always being held sufficiently accountable following instances of unacceptable care. We trust them to look after our elderly citizens with dignity and respect; it is important that there are appropriate sanctions when standards are not met.

“I want to see improved nursing and residential home care provision for older people in Northern Ireland. I hope, therefore, that the Health Minister, his Department and other relevant agencies fully co-operate with this review to bring about appropriate recommendations and actions.”


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