The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland has welcomed the decision by Health Minister Robin Swann to introduce an Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland.

Responding to the news, Eddie Lynch said: “I welcome today’s announcement from the Health Minister to introduce an Adult Safeguarding Bill in Northern Ireland.

“This was a key recommendation from my Home Truths report following my investigation into the care and treatment of older people living in Dunmurry Manor Care Home. That investigation highlighted once again, how vulnerable older people are not adequately protected in law, and that is why a safeguarding bill is needed to help address many of the weaknesses in our current system.

“This particular Bill is something my office has been calling on for many years and something I highlighted the urgent need for with Minister Swann shortly after he took up his post earlier this year. My office has undertaken research and sought expert opinion on the content of an Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland and I look forward to sharing this with the relevant officials to ensure we get a bill that better protects many of the most vulnerable in our society.

“For too long vulnerable older people in Northern Ireland have not been adequately protected in legislation. This decision has been long overdue so it’s vital that work progresses on the Bill at pace so we get this protection in place for our most vulnerable as soon as possible.”