The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch said:

“The resignation of the RQIA board is a very worrying development which could not come at a worse time. It will naturally raise concerns across many areas of the health service but will be an added strain on many families who are concerned about their loved ones in care home settings.

“It is vital that the Minister moves swiftly to reassure families that systems are in place to safeguard and protect older people at this uncertain time, and that steps are taken to establish a new RQIA board as soon as possible.

“Two years on from the publication of my Home Truths report, a number of recommendations to improve the regulation and inspection of care homes remain outstanding. A new board must grasp the reform needed as a matter of urgency to ensure we get a system of regulation and improvement that tackles the underperformance of providers swiftly and robustly so that older people are better protected now and in the future.”