Skip to main content

Homepage image 5

RQIA Public Perception Survey 2015

RQIA takes its engagement with stakeholders seriously, and we wish to learn more about your views on our work. We would encourage to take a few minutes to complete this survey, which will allow us to further develop our engagement with our wide range of stakeholders ranging from members of the public, service users and patients, and providers of health and social care services. This survey will be open for an eight week period from 23 October until 18 December 2015.

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.
RQIA's website is now BrowseAloud speech enabled. In order to use this free service, please click on the icon.

Latest News (Updated 23 November 2015)

RQIA E-Zine Published (November 2015)

Welcome to the ninth edition of Assurance, Challenge and Improvement, RQIA’s latest electronic newsletter (e-zine). In this issue find out more about our programme of unannounced of acute hospital inspections, which started last month with a three-day inspection of Antrim Area Hospital.

You can read about RQIA’s latest publications, including our Annual Report, review of brain injury services and our joint inspection of Maghaberry Prison. In November, we hosted a world leading expert on children’s homes who led a symposium on residential child care. You can also read more about our reviews activities and key developments in regulation, review and mental health and learning disability in recent months.

You can access further information by clicking on the blue hyperlinks throughout this newsletter/e-zine. Click to access details about RQIA’s key functions. And, don’t forget, please complete our short survey!

Symposium on Residential Child Care

In November, forty delegates attended RQIA’s symposium on residential child care. The keynote speaker was Professor Jim Anglin, School of Child and Youth Care at University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who provided a presentation on best practice in this area. You can read Professor Anglin’s presentation here.

RQIA Annual Quality Report 2014-15

Today (12 November 2015) marks Annual World Quality Day, which promotes awareness of quality around the world and encourages development and prosperity. To read RQIA's 2014-15 Annual Quality Report, click here.

Unannounced Inspection of Maghaberry Prison Published

RQIA, in partnership with Criminal Justice Inspection, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons and the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) conducted an unannounced inspection of Maghaberry Prison in May 2015.

During the inspection, RQIA identified serious concerns about aspects of health care provision for prisoners at Maghaberry. Of particular concern were difficulties in the recruitment and retention of staff, which affected key aspects of health care delivery at the prison. This included the management of the care of prisoners with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes.

Prisoners reported unacceptably long waits to see a GP, nurse or dentist. Our inspectors found delays and serious problems in the administration of medication. The practice of prisoners holding their own prescribed drugs created a risk of medicines being diverted, and vulnerable prisoners bullied.

RQIA provided feedback on our concerns to the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, both during and following the inspection, to ensure immediate action.

Today’s joint report recommends that the South Eastern Trust provides a formal action plan to RQIA within one month to address the serious concerns identified and to ensure patient safety.

While actions already taken by the trust since this inspection are welcomed, a further inspection will take place in January 2016 to assess progress in addressing the concerns identified in this report.

You can read the full report here.

RQIA To Commence Unannounced Acute Hospital Inspection Programme

RQIA is launching a significant addition to our work through a new programme of unannounced inspections at every acute hospital in Northern Ireland, which will begin this month (October 2015).

To provide assurance to the public, this month we will begin our new programme of unannounced inspections at acute hospitals across Northern Ireland. Our inspections will identify and report on what is working well, and where improvements are needed, with a focus on increasing the quality of care and reducing harm to patients.

Our inspectors will assess: Is care safe? Is care effective? Is care compassionate? We will also examine the quality of leadership and management at each area inspected. During each unannounced inspection our team will visit a number of specific clinical areas within the hospital. To help provide a clear view of the overall performance of each area inspected, we will: inspect the hospital environment; observe practice; speak to patients, families and staff; and examine evidence including: patient records, policies and other relevant documentation.

At each hospital, RQIA will lead inspection teams which will include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ambulance staff and allied health professionals - who are engaged in the daily delivery of health and social care elsewhere in Northern Ireland - as peer reviewers. Equally important is the involvement of lay assessors - service users and members of the public, who bring their own experience, fresh insight and a public focus to these inspections.

Read our press release here. Find out more about how we will conduct our new acute hospital inspections here.

RQIA Publishes Review of Services for People with an Acquired Brain Injury (Updated 23 September 2015)

RQIA has published the report of its independent Review of Brain Injury Services in Northern Ireland.

Each year, in Northern Ireland over 2,000 people sustain a brain injury, while many more live with the long-term effects.

The review team, which included experts in the field from across the UK, assessed acquired brain injury services against brain injury service standards and quality indicators.

To achieve best outcomes for people with a brain injury, collaborative working arrangements are required to drive service improvement and to share innovation. The review team calls for a strategic direction for brain injury services to facilitate better coordination of services across the five health and social care trusts.

While information on both adult and children’s services was available, the review team recommends that trusts should involve service users, their families and carers in reviewing how and when this information is provided.

This review makes 23 recommendations to support improvements in the provision of brain injury services, the recommendations to improve patient care require particular consideration by the DHSSPS, HSC Board and trusts.

You can read this review report here.

Public Health Agency Offering Free Training for Nursing and Residential Care Homes on Nutritional Guidelines and Menu Checklist

From September 2015 until January 2016, the Public Health Agency is offering free training at venues across Northern Ireland for nursing and residential care homes on Nutritional Guidelines and Menu Checklist. For further details of dates and venues click here.

Mental Health Part IV Medical Practitioners

RQIA is inviting applications for Medical Practitioners to undertake second opinions in accordance with Part IV of the Mental Health Northern Ireland Order 1986. For further information on how to make an application click here.

RQIA E-Zine Published (August 2015)

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 Review of Medicines Optimisation in Primary Care (Updated 29 July 2015)

RQIA has published the report of its Review of Medicines Optimisation in Primary Care. Northern Ireland has an ageing population, which is likely to increase the number of people with multiple medical conditions, leading to greater use of complicated medicines regimens. RQIA assessed present medicines optimisation processes in Northern Ireland, aligned to DHSSPS’s Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework for Northern Ireland, and this report makes 16 recommendations to improve medicines optimisation processes in primary care.

You can read this review report here.

Animated Summary of RQIA's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Northern Ireland (Updated 16 June 2015)

In November 2014 the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Northern Ireland were published. During the inquiry, it was agreed that a child/young person friendly summary would be produced. Include Youth brought together a group of young people who have made a short animation on the inquiry’s key messages and contact details for help and support on CSE. Watch the animation here:

RQIA Publishes Review of Risk Management in Addiction Services (Updated 03 June 2015)

RQIA has just published the findings of its Independent Review of Risk Assessment and Management in Addiction Services.

During the review, RQIA audited 100 patient files and held focus groups with service users to examine risk management processes in Northern Ireland’s addiction services.

While some service users told reviewers of their positive experiences of addictions services, others complained about delays in getting timely and appropriate support and treatment, which left them at risk of further relapse.

Variation was noted within GPs referrals to addiction services, particularly in terms of the detail of the intervention by the GP and information to inform a risk assessment.

Records of service users examined by the review team indicated that half of service users with addiction problems demonstrated a history of mental ill health. These patients reported that they would receive treatment for either their addiction or their mental ill health, but not both conditions.

The review team found that less than one third of initial assessments by addiction services were completed accurately, with significant sections not completed, and limited evidence of the use of recommended psychological interventions.

However, service users reported positive experiences of treatment and support in inpatient units, with examples of support and counselling provided by trusts as part of the addiction treatment programme.

This review makes 15 recommendations to support improvements in risk assessment and risk management in addiction services.

Joint Inspection report of Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre Announced published (Updated 29 May 2015)

The report of a joint inspection of Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre led by the Criminal Justice Inspection, in partnership with RQIA and the Education and Training Inspectorate, is now published.

Whilst Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre has been praised by inspectors for its role in improving the child custody system, the team found that changes are required within the centre to meet future challenges.

The report recommended steps be taken to improve the clinical leadership and governance for healthcare staff in order to maintain and improve the quality of nursing at the Bangor facility. Inspectors recognised healthcare staff’s rapport with the children, but gaps in their ability to access continuous professional development and mandatory training should be addressed.

The report makes four strategic recommendations and 27 operational recommendations for improvement.

You can read the report here.

Click here
to find Inspection reports.

Service provider directory

Enforcement Activity
Click here
to access details of enforcement.

Register of services
Click here
to view our register.

Feedback and complaints
Click here
for guidance.

Click here
for guidance on whistleblowing.

Freedom of Information (FOI)
Click here
for information on FOI.