East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has stated that the Runwood Homes Dunmurry exposure has made it quite clear, beyond reasonable doubt, that the authority that inspects care homes, the RQIA, is still not up to the task.
Mr Dickson said: “We’ve been here before, following the Cherrytree failure in Carrickfergus, which I exposed. There now needs to be an independent mechanism to address their failures once and for all. Other homes currently being inspected by RQIA cannot have confidence in the procedure, causing unnecessary stress for staff, patients and families. Trust in the system is gone.
“There must be an independent inquiry into what went on behind the closed doors of Runwood Homes, Dunmurry.
“Nothing should be off limits when it comes to an independent inquiry; from the Health Department down through the RQIA, to the frontline staff.
Mr Dickson concluded: “Once all the facts are known, with named persons involved, then dismissals and resignations could follow, as well as 'fitness to practise' processes for healthcare professionals, and potentially criminal investigations.”