Ulster Unionist Party representative Roy Beggs MLA has welcomed the publication of the highly critical independent report into the RQIA inspection of Cherry Tree Nursing and Residential Care Home in which many basic failings in the inspection methods have been highlighted.
Roy Beggs MLA, a member of the Health Committee at Stormont said, “The independent review of RQIA highlighted a number of basic issues that need to be rectified. Why has it taken so long to identify such basic failing in the methods used by RQIA? Only by changing the inspection process can failings be better identified and addressed so that the standards of care for the elderly can be increased.”
The report has identified the need to improve a number of aspects of the inspection such as: the mechanisms to communicate the previous complaints to trust staff who are carrying out the review of the homes; speaking directly to a complaint and interviewing all care staff who might be able to contribute to the process.
Roy Beggs MLA said, “It is of concern that these basic issues need to be highlighted, as you would have expected these to be the starting point of any inspection of a care home.”
The review also recommends that new residents and their families are provided with information on how to make a complaint.
The Ulster Unionist MLA, Roy Beggs added “There are also a number of basic recommendations in relation to whistle-blowing that I would have expected to already be in place. One such recommendation is that regulators have a clear procedure for dealing with whistle-blowers who come to them, including the provision of feedback. The review into RQIA also states that there is a need to implement best practise in relation to the protection of whistle-blower’s and to have in place a whistleblowing policy that includes support and protection for whistle-blower’s. The recommendations also state that RQIA should assure itself regularly that it complies with its own guidance on whistle-blower’s. Again, all these points are basic and I would hope that action is taken immediately in order to learn from previous mistakes.
We are fortunate that a Whistle blower highlighted past failing of Cherry Tree Nursing and Residential Care Home and it has been recognised that RQIA failed to drive improvements in a timely fashion. We must value and protect whistle-blowers as they have enabled bad practice to be exposed and will enable standards of care for the vulnerable to be improved.”
Concluding, Roy Beggs stated, “It is vital that RQIA and both nursing and residential care homes learn from previous mistakes. All must strive to implement the recommendations in order to enhance the level of care that is provided to our older, vulnerable citizens.”