Northern Ireland news

Health trusts intervene to stop nursing home placements

Health trusts have intervened to suspend placements to nursing homes

HEALTH trusts have intervened to suspend placements to nursing homes almost 40 times in the past five years due to concerns about the quality of care provided.

The Northern and Southern Trusts each intervened 13 times since 2012 to remove or prevent a patient being placed in a nursing home.

The Belfast trust has stepped in on just two occasions, both in the past two years.

There have also been 111 'failure to comply' notices issued to nursing homes by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in the same period.

A failure to comply notice is given to owners on occasions when a nursing home is deemed to be not meeting relevant regulations.

The notice will set out action that needs to be taken and a timescale, up to a maximum of three months, for implementing necessary measures.

However, the RQIA has not cancelled the registration of any nursing home as a result of enforcement action since 2012.

The figures were released in response to a series of written Assembly questions from DUP North Antrim MLA Paul Frew.

Asked for a further breakdown of the suspensions, Health Minister Michelle O'Neill said that the information is not held centrally.

Mrs O'Neill said: "It is vital that service users and their families have confidence in the quality of the care that they receive and I therefore remain committed to ensuring that the well being of residents continues to be a priority."

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