Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) In Northern Ireland
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is Northern Ireland's independent health and social care regulator. In its work RQIA encourages continuous improvement in the quality of health and social care services through a programme of inspections and reviews. Visit our about us section to find out more.
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Latest News (Updated 05 November 2013)
Kathleen Marshall to chair the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland (Updated 5 November 2013)
Today the health minister, Edwin Poots, announced the appointment of Kathleen Marshall to chair the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Northern Ireland. Mrs Marshall is the former Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland and was a member of the team that undertook the Youth Justice Review in Northern Ireland. The independent inquiry will:
• seek to establish the nature of CSE in Northern Ireland and a measure of the extent to which it occurs
• examine the effectiveness of current cross-sectoral child safeguarding and protection arrangements and measures to prevent and tackle CSE
• make recommendations on the future actions required to prevent and tackle CSE and who should be responsible for these actions
• report the findings of the inquiry to the ministers of health and justice within one year of the commencement of the inquiry. And should also:
• consider specific safeguarding and protection issues for looked after children, taking into account the ongoing thematic review by the SBNI
• seek the views of children and young people in Northern Ireland and other key stakeholders
• engage with parents to identify the issues they are facing and seek their views on what needs to be done to help them keep their children safe from the risk of CSE
Information will be made available at relevant points throughout the inquiry, and a website will be established to facilitate information sharing. Any evidence that requires immediate action to protect children will be shared with relevant authorities.On her appointment as chair of the independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland, Kathleen Marshall said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed to lead the inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland. It is a distressing subject, which recent events have shown to be of great public concern. Some excellent work has already been done in Northern Ireland to identify and address the problem, but there is much that we still do not know, and need to know if we are to understand its nature and extent, and take effective steps to tackle it. I am eager to engage with young people, their parents and supportive professionals and agencies, to help me understand what is happening, and what can best be done to protect children and young people from child sexual exploitation. My priority is to set up an easy and efficient way of allowing people to find out how the inquiry is progressing, and how they can contribute to it. In the coming weeks I will issue a formal call for evidence regarding child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland.”
RQIA Publishes Independent Review of Specialist Sexual Health Services in Northern Ireland (Updated 09 October 2013)
RQIA has published its Independent Review of Specialist Sexual Health Services in Northern Ireland. The review team, which included four consultants and a lead nurse from Scottish sexual health services, makes 16 recommendations for improvement. These include: the need for clear strategic direction for sexual health services, agreed standards for service delivery, and an integrated commissioning plan for genitourinary medicine(GUM) and sexually and reproductive health (formerly known as family planning) services; the need for a workforce plan, consultant and nurse leadership, and associated training to meet future service demands; and standardisation/review of processes for booking appointments and receiving test results.To access the review report click here.
RQIA to Conduct a Review of Cherry Tree House Nursing and Residential Care Home, Carrickfergus (Updated 11 December 2013)
In September 2013, DHSSPS commissioned RQIA to conduct a review of Cherry Tree House, a nursing and residential care home in Carrickfergus, to examine actions taken to address whistleblower and other allegations over a period of years. These allegations related to: the quality of care; safeguarding; and employment issues. To view the terms of reference for this review, click on the document below.
RQIA Publishes Whistleblowing Guidance (Updated 11 October 2013)
In October 2013, RQIA published guidance to help health and social care staff who wish to make a protected disclosure about wrongdoing in their workplace.
To view this guidance, and information on how to make a disclosure click here.
Inspections of Hydebank Wood Young Offenders' Centre and Ash House Women's Prison (Updated 01 October 2013)
Reports on the inspections of Hydebank Wood Young Offenders' Centre (YOC) and Ash House, Northern Ireland's women's prison, conducted in February 2013 by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and Education and Training Inspectorate, were published today (1 October 2013).
Inspectors raised significant concerns around the performance of these prison facilities and their ability to deliver positive outcomes for prisoners within their care.
Inspectors noted that while some positive healthcare initiatives had been introduced they were not yet fully delivering effective outcomes for prisoners.
The inspection reports contain 156 recommendations for improvement, which outline the challenges to be addressed by the new management teams in place at both the YOC and Ash House to deal with current failings. The achievement of these recommendations would enable both facilities to move forward and deliver more positive outcomes for two of the most vulnerable prisoner groups - women and young men - who are within their care.
You can access the full inspection reports here.
Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland (Updated 26 September 2013)
The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety has announced an independent expert-led inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland. This will be supported and facilitated jointly by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI).
The proposed remit of this inquiry is to:
- examine the nature and extent of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Northern Ireland in conjunction with relevant agencies and stakeholders
- determine the most pertinent issues that need to be addressed that can help to prevent, tackle and disrupt CSE
- examine the effectiveness of current measures aimed at tackling, preventing and disrupting CSE
- consider the effectiveness of measures to secure the safety and wellbeing of children in care, including those at risk of CSE
- make recommendations on what needs to be done in health and social care (HSC) and justice to improve the effectiveness of these measures
- highlight actions that should be taken by other government departments and their agencies, including the education sector, to prevent the risk of CSE, identify children at risk of CSE and support the work the HSC and justice agencies.
The remit is wide-ranging and not confined to children in the care system. It is intended to address both broad concerns regarding child sexual exploitation and current responses to it, as well as specific concerns about the protection of children in care.
The minister has given a commitment that they will respond to the recommendations emerging from this inquiry. He has indicated that he will provide a further statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly when the independent expert to lead the inquiry has been confirmed.
You can read the minister’s full statement here.
A Baseline Assessment and Review of Learning Disability Community Services (Updated 22 August 2013)
RQIA has published reports on its baseline assessment and review of community services for children with a disability and for adults with a learning disability.
These reports provide a baseline assessment and review of the composition and function of HSC trust disability services for adults with learning disabilities and children with disabilities.
The fieldwork for this review was carried out in 2012 and the statistical information is taken from 2011-12. These reports make several recommendations for improvement throughout the service.
To access these reports click here.
RQIA Baseline Review of the Implementation Process of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance in Health and Social Care (HSC) Organisations (Updated 24 July 2013)
RQIA has published its Baseline Review of the Implementation Process of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance in Health and Social Care (HSC) Organisations.
This review makes 12 recommendations for improvement, for consideration by DHSSPS, to strengthen and improve the arrangements for dissemination and implementation of NICE guidance in the HSC.
You can access this report here.
RQIA Independent Review of Hospitals at Nights and Weekends(Updated 3 July 2013)
RQIA has published its Independent Review of Hospitals at Nights and Weekends, which examined arrangements in hospitals across Northern Ireland for the management of acute medical and surgical patient admissions. RQIA’s review team included senior clinicians from teaching hospitals in England and lay membership, considered a range of issues relating to the safe delivery of care in acute hospitals at nights and weekends. These included: handover arrangements, services available, nursing and medical staffing arrangements and safety.
During the review, RQIA found that there were differences between acute hospitals in the availability of services and staffing at nights and weekends. At times, pressures to accommodate emergency admissions can lead to the transfer of patients between wards, and there can also be difficulties in providing staff to accompany patients who need to be transferred between hospitals at night.
Effective handovers are an essential component of safe practice in hospitals, and RQIA’s review team welcomes the introduction of multidisciplinary Hospital at Night teams, which have enhanced coordination and handover arrangements. However, the review team recommends that trusts examine arrangements for handover to staff coming on duty, particularly after night shifts.
During the review, RQIA engaged with patients to hear about their experiences. Whilst many reported a positive experience, others highlighted unnecessary noise as a significant factor in disturbing sleep, and some felt that wards were short staffed, creating pressures, particularly for nurses. This report makes 29 recommendations, which we believe have the potential to contribute positively to the delivery of safer care at all acute hospitals across Northern Ireland. You can access a copy of the report here.
RQIA Independent Review of the Management of Controlled Drug Use in Trust Hospitals (Updated 12 June 2013)
RQIA has published its Independent Review of the Management of Controlled Drug Use in Trust Hospitals.
This review considered the arrangements in place for the effectiveness of the management of controlled drug use in health and social care (HSC) trust hospitals. The review found robust systems in place and made 15 recommendations to improve further what is already a comprehensive system.
You can access a copy of the report here.
Guidance On Transport Schemes for Nursing Home, Residential Care Home and Supported Living Domiciliary Care Service Providers (Updated 31 May 2013)
RQIA has prepared guidance on transport schemes for nursing home, residential care home and supported living domiciliary care service providers. It is important that appropriate arrangements are in place to facilitate the service user’s use of motorised transport in pursuit of their individual needs. This guidance is aimed at assisting registered providers who intend to operate a transport scheme to do so in a manner that is fair, transparent and proportionate to the needs of the service user. You can access the guidance here.
Minister Appoints New RQIA Board Members (Updated April 2013)
In April 2013 the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety appointed five new members to RQIA’s Board for a four year term of office. They are: Brendan Garland; Professor Mary McColgan; Daniel McLarnon; Patricia O’Callaghan. These appointments took effect on 22 April 2013. Dr John Jenkins has also been appointed to RQIA and joins the Board on 6 May 2013.
RQIA E-Zine Published (Updated 30 April 2013)RQIA's latest E-Zine, Assurance Challenge Improvement, providing an update on the latest RQIA activities has now been published.
To access this E-Zine, click here.
RQIA Enforcement Policy, April 2013 (Updated April 2013)RQIA’s new Enforcement Policy was approved by RQIA’s Board in March 2013, and came into operation in April 2013. You can access the Enforcement Policy and associated procedures here.
RQIA takes a stepped approach to enforcement, and this policy sets out our actions where we identify breaches of regulations and/or minimum standards. It also sets out processes to appeal these actions.
Where there is evidence of a breach of regional standards, RQIA may issue an improvement notice to a HSC organisation. Since April 2012 RQIA has published all enforcement activity in relation to adult services here and this practice will continue in the public interest.
to find Inspection reports. Enforcement Activity
to access details of enforcement. Register of services
to view our register. Feedback and complaints
for guidance. Whistleblowing
for guidance on whistleblowing. Freedom of Information (FOI)
for information on FOI.