My relative/friend is receiving poor care in a particular service, what can I do about it? What can RQIA do about it?
Under regional complaints guidance RQIA does not investigate individual complaints. Under this guidance in the first instance, you should raise your complaint with the service manager or provider, who should attempt to resolve your complaint in line with their own complaints procedures. If you are dissatisfied with their response or do not wish to make a complaint directly to the service you may wish to raise your concerns with the relevant HSC trust. RQIA takes all concerns brought to our attention seriously, and any information received will be reviewed to determine if there is a potential breach in regulations. This will be followed up by the inspector for that service.
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What is the health and social care trust’s role in relation to nursing/residential care homes?
What is the difference between a residential care home and a nursing home?
A residential care home provides residential accommodation with both board and personal care for
persons in need of personal care by reason of old age and infirmity; disablement; past or present
dependence on alcohol or drugs; or past or present mental disorder. They do not provide nursing
A nursing home is any premises used, or intended to be used for the reception of, and the
provision of nursing for persons suffering from any illness or infirmity. Some homes are registered
to care for both people in need of residential or nursing care.
How do I access RQIA inspection reports?
All RQIA reports of regulated establishments and agencies (with the exception of children’s
services) are available on our website.
If you know the area or name of the home you can search on our website to find reports.
To access RQIA inspection reports click here
My care worker has not turned up to my home, who do I call?
Contact the agency’s office. The relevant telephone number will be within your service user’s
Alternatively you can contact your Trust Care Manager – again, the contact telephone number
should be contained in your service user’s guide/information pack.
I/my relative live(s) in a nursing/residential care home. What is the weekly personal allowance?
The personal allowance is normally around £25.00 per week; however, the exact amount received
by the service user depends on their individual financial circumstances. The commissioning health
and social care trust carries out a financial assessment on an annual basis. This determines the
exact amount for each service user, so the amount received will normally increase slightly every
year in line with the general increase in benefits.
Click here for information on the National Fraud Initiative
I am/my relative is not receiving my/their personal allowance. What should I do?
If the service user is managing their own money they should receive their personal allowance (and their other social security benefits) into an identified bank account. There may be a simple explanation and they should check that the relevant social security office has the correct bank details.
If someone else is receiving their benefits they may have an Appointee i.e. the person identified to manage their benefits on their behalf.
If the service user is not receiving their personal allowance from the Appointee they should speak to their Appointee or a family member or a person they can trust or their trust Care Manager.
What do I pay for out of my personal allowance?
The personal allowance is provided for spending on the service user’s day to day needs. The
service user can spend it on whatever they wish. Generally service users spend it on hairdressing,
toiletries, newspapers, confectionary, etc.
The service my relative is in is increasing the top up fee. What can I/RQIA do about this?
The charges for each home are set by the individual home, RQIA does not have a role in this. The
top-up charge is agreed between the home, the trust and the third party. The home cannot
increase the top-up fee without the agreement of the trust and the third party who is paying the
My relative who is a vulnerable adult had money in a bank account and it’s no longer there. Who can I report this to?
If the relative resides within a registered service the registered manager/deputy manager should be informed immediately. The home should inform the local Health and Social Care Trust via an incident form. RQIA and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) should also be informed.
You may also wish to contact the designated vulnerable adult's officer at the local health and social care trust and the PSNI.
If the relative resides in their own home, the designated vulnerable adult’s officer at the local health and social care trust should be contacted along with the PSNI.
After my carer left I noticed money was missing. Who should I report this to?
If you or your relative resides within a registered service the registered manager/deputy manager should be informed immediately. The home should inform the local health and social care trust via an incident form. RQIA and the PSNI should also be informed.
You may also wish to contact the designated vulnerable adult’s officer at the health and social care trust and PSNI.
If you or your relative resides in their own home, the designated vulnerable adult’s officer at the local health and social care trust should be contacted, along with the PSNI.
I/my relative live(s) in a nursing/residential care home. Who should pay for my/their transport costs?
Transport is an additional service provided by the home. In some cases the home provides
transport free of charge. In most cases the service user pays for transport. Where this happens,
service users should be provided with an agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the
transport scheme. The agreement should provide clear details of the charges for using the
transport scheme. The method of payment should also be detailed.
Click here for information on Transport Schemes
I live in a nursing/residential care home and go to a day centre. Who pays for my meals?
The cost of day care meals are normally met through the contract with the trust and the provider of the day care facility.
If the day care facility is owned by the trust the cost of the meals are included within the contract between the trust and the provider of the nursing/residential care home. In this case the registered provider of the nursing/residential care home should pay for your day care meals.
If you are paying for meals from your own monies, the procedure for paying should be included in your agreement with the nursing/residential care home. The reason for having to pay for your own meals should be clearly documented – the trust would need to explain why they are not paying for meals as part of your care package.