‘Breakdown in relationships’ with health watchdog

Elderly person holding walking stick

Inadequate communication, breakdowns in working relationships and deficiencies in governance are just a number of issues behind the mass resignation of NI’s regulatory board the RQIA in 2020, according to an independent review.

Last June, the board of the health watchdog that oversees Northern Ireland’s care homes resigned. They said they were not consulted on decisions taken during the pandemic. That included the decision to reduce the number of care home inspections. Health Minister Robin Swann ordered an independent review into the situation.

In a written statement to the assembly, the health minister said the report “makes for difficult reading for all concerned” including his department, the former acting chair, other ex-members of the RQIA board and the then-interim chief executive of RQIA.

The review is highly critical of how people who work in a number of governmental bodies communicated and worked with each other.n A number of these so-called arm’s length bodies are there to ensure older and vulnerable people are kept safe.

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