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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

Independent Review of Arrangements for Management and Coordination of Unscheduled Care in the Belfast HSC Trust and Related Regional Considerations

Following the declaration of a major incident at the Royal Victoria Hospital in January 2014, the Health Minister requested RQIA to conduct an immediate inspection of the Emergency Department and Acute Medical Unit, which was published in April. The minister also asked RQIA to conduct a wider review of unscheduled care at the Belfast Trust, and wider regional considerations.

RQIA has published the findings of its Independent Review of Arrangements for Management and Coordination of Unscheduled Care in the Belfast HSC Trust and Related Regional Considerations. This review makes a total of 17 recommendations for improvement in the management of unscheduled care in the Belfast Trust and the wider health and social care system across Northern Ireland.

You can access the unscheduled care review report here. The inspection report of The Royal Victoria Hospital’s (RVH) Emergency Department and Acute Medical Unit, published in April, is also available alongside this review report.


Independent Review of the Actions Taken in Relation to Concerns Raised about the Care Delivered at Cherry Tree House, Carrickfergus (July 2014)

RQIA has published the findings of an independent review team’s assessment of actions taken in relation to concerns raised about the care delivered at Cherry Tree House in Carrickfergus from 2005 to 2013. The review examined the action taken by a number of bodies – DHSSPS, the Health and Social Care Board, health and social care trusts, and RQIA in response to complaints and whistleblowing concerns.

The independent review team makes 22 recommendations for improvement by health and social care organisations in relation to complaints, whistleblowing and inspection processes. A number of these recommendations are for RQIA to address. As a learning organisation, we continually work to strengthen and improve our regulatory processes to ensure that learning from this review is embedded in practice across health and social care.

You can read the report here.


Effective Management of Practice in Theatre Settings across Northern Ireland (13 June 2014)

RQIA has published the findings of its review of the effective management of practice in theatre settings across Northern Ireland.

The review team inspected the theatre departments in ten of the largest hospitals in Northern Ireland to assess compliance with guidance, including surgical safety and health care hygiene standards. The delivery of safe, effective surgical care is complex, involving many interventions, processes and safety checks that should be consistently applied for every patient.

RQIA assessed trusts’ arrangements to meet a range of guidance including the World Health Organisation’s Surgical Safety Checklist. While this checklist has been implemented in all hospitals inspected, further improvements are required to ensure that it is consistently applied, with full engagement, participation and completion by the relevant professional staff.

The overview report makes 13 recommendations to improve compliance with standards. Separate inspection reports are available for each hospital inspected, making specific recommendations for improvement in individual hospitals.


Oversight of Service Users’ Finances in Residential and Supported Living Settings (6 June 2014)

RQIA has published the findings of its review of oversight of service users’ finances in residential and supported living settings, which assessed HSC trusts’ arrangements to manage service users’ finances and their compliance with departmental guidance. People in residential care and supported living services are among the most vulnerable in society and are at a higher risk of financial exploitation than the general population. Whilst DHSSPS guidance issued in 2009 requires that mandatory controls are in place in statutory care homes, the situation is less clear in other settings. Through RQIA’s regulatory activities, we have identified a number of issues in relation to the management of service users’ finances, including: financial controls and arrangements regarding service user agreements and authorisations that are inadequate, and examples of poor record-keeping.

This review makes seven recommendations to strengthen safeguards for residents’ finances, including a call for guidance to be revised to provide greater assurance that service users’ finances are being appropriately managed, and to reflect the changing structures of care delivery in Northern Ireland.

You can access the review report here.


RQIA publishes Review of the Implementation of NICE Clinical Guideline 42: Dementia (2 June 2014)

RQIA has published this review, which examined the progress in each health and social care trust of the implementation of NICE clinical guideline 42: Dementia. The review makes 8 recommendations for improvement to enhance the arrangements for implementation of NICE clinical guidelines.

You can access this report here.


Heatwave Advice 2014

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has published advice for HSC professionals and care home managers and staff, in relation to supporting vulnerable people before and during a heatwave. To access copies of this advice click here.


RQIA Publishes Report of Unscheduled Care at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast

RQIA has published the findings of its inspection at The Royal Victoria Hospital’s (RVH) Emergency Department and Acute Medical Unit, which took place over four days from 31 January 2014. You can access the report here.

Following the declaration of a major incident at the RVH, and concerns brought to RQIA’s attention by medical staff at the hospital, on 30 January 2014, RQIA was asked by Minister Poots to conduct an inspection of the Emergency Department and Acute Medical Unit.

The inspection focused on a range of issues including: staffing levels for nursing and medical staff; safety; the environment and the patient experience. RQIA observed practice in departments and wards, observed team meetings and examined documentation and patient care records. The inspection team also spoke to over 100 staff from a wide range of disciplines, and to patients and their relatives.

The report makes a total of 59 recommendations for improvement at the hospital.

RQIA’s separate Review of Arrangements for Management and Coordination of Unscheduled Care in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, chaired by Dr David Stewart, is currently underway, and will be completed in June 2014. You can read more about this review, and its terms of reference, below.

The Belfast Trust has developed an Improvement Plan for Unscheduled Care which can be accessed on its website.


RQIA Review of Arrangements for Management and Coordination of Unscheduled Care in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

In February 2014, the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety announced that RQIA would conduct a review of arrangements for the management and coordination of unscheduled care at the Belfast Trust. The independent review team is chaired by Dr David Stewart, RQIA Director of Reviews and Medical Director, and includes:

• Dr George Crooks: Medical Director, Scottish Ambulance Service
• Dr Alistair Douglas: President, Society for Acute Medicine
• Kathy Fodey: Director of Regulation and Nursing, RQIA
• Paul Harriman: Assistant Director, Service Improvement, Sheffield Teaching Hospital
• Dr Taj Hassan: Vice President, College of Emergency Medicine
• Mary Monnington: Independent Nurse Advisor
• Dr Elizabeth Myers: Nurse Consultant, Acute Medicine
• Professor Bill Reid: Dean of Postgraduate Medicine, South East Deanery, NHS Education for Scotland
• Patricia Snell: Deputy Director Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
• Lay reviewer: to be confirmed

To view the full terms of reference for this review, click on the document below.

RQIA will report its findings to the Health Minister by 15 June 2014.

RQIA publishes Independent Review of the Implementation of the Respiratory Service Framework

RQIA has published its Independent Review of the Implementation of the Respiratory Service Framework. RQIA found widespread support among stakeholders for the service framework approach; collaboration with service users, stakeholders and the public was well planned, and to the forefront of its development and implementation. Voluntary agencies considered the implementation process has shaped the way respiratory services are being taken forward, and the framework contributed significantly to improvements in these services. In this review, RQIA makes six recommendations to further improve the implementation arrangements for future service frameworks.

You can access the report here.


Shaping RQIA's Priorities: 2015-18

We Want Your Views

RQIA held a series of consultation events across Northern Ireland in preparation for the development of our Corporate Strategy and Three Year Review Programme for the next three years (2015 to 2018). The events were held in: Belfast (7 April); Downpatrick (9 April); Ballymena (11 April); Craigavon (16 April); and Derry/Londonderry (17 April).

At these events we would like to hear what you think RQIA’s priorities should be for the next three years. For further information on how to attend an event, click here.

You can also suggest topics for review by completing a short survey here.


RQIA to Facilitate an Independent Review of Cherry Tree House Nursing and Residential Care Home, Carrickfergus

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. RQIA has appointed a team of independent experts to conduct this review.

As part of this independent review, the Minister asked the review team to examine the manner by which expressions of concern made to various statutory bodies and other public authorities were acted upon by those bodies and authorities. The concerns were those expressed by families and others relating to the care and treatment of residents at Cherry Tree House Private Nursing and Residential Home in Carrickfergus between January 2005 and March 2013.

If you were a person who expressed such a concern to a public body or statutory authority and wish to engage with the independent review team, please telephone: 028 9051 7500, or email:
the-review@rqia.org.uk by 6th March 2014.

At its conclusion, a report setting out RQIA’s findings will be provided to the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

To view the full terms of reference for this review, click on the document below.

Inspections
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