In light of a number of investigations by the BBC and other organisations into care homes for the elderly, and those with disabilities, BtP has undertaken an investigation of complaints made to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) responsible for regulating the health and social care sector which includes children’s homes, nursing homes and residential care homes.
We asked the RQIA, since 2011, how many complaints have been made on the basis of the following:
  • Theft
  • Abuse (physical or mental)
  • Assault (physical or sexual)

RQIA told us they would respond on the basis of how they record incidents, under the banners;

  •  A1: Theft or burglary
  •  G6.1: Allegation of Misconduct (Physical)
  •  G6.3: Allegation of Misconduct (Psychological/Emotional)
  •  G6.4: Allegation of Misconduct (Financial/Material)
  •  G6.2: Allegation of Misconduct (Sexual)

Since 2011, almost 4,000 complaints in total have been made by users of those services.  RQIA provided us with the complaints made broken down by Health Trust area, and it must be said that these are allegations – we have no way of knowing if these have been substantiated given the PSNI role and the confidentiality around such investigations.


Belfast has seen 898 complaints made to RQIA since 2011, the majority of these, 412, are for physical misconduct which could involve physical abuse. 153 instances of psychological abuse and the same number of allegations of theft or fraud were made within the trust area.


The Northern Trust is the largest Trust geographically in NI, covering four council areas.  691 complaints have been made to RQIA from this area since 2011.  The trend of allegations of physical misconduct being the highest recorded complaint continues here, with 339 complaints made on this basis.  125 complaints of allegations of psychological misconduct were made over that period also.


The South Eastern Trust has the highest overall number of complaints at 1,015, and bar far the highest number of allegations of physical misconduct at 511.  In fact, apart from allegations of theft or burglary, this Trust has the highest number of complaints across all categories.  107 of financial/material misconduct, 183 on psychological misconduct and 88 of sexual misconduct.  It is also worth nothing, that although not broken down by where complaints came from, the South Eastern Trust also provides healthcare services to all NI Prison Service institutions.


552 complaints in total were made in the Southern Trust area, again the majority of these allegations of physical misconduct – 227.  108 complaints alleging psychological misconduct were also made in the period.


200 allegations of physical misconduct were made in the Western Trust, and 91 of allegations of psychological misconduct making up more than half of the 450 total complaints made in the period.


Concerning, no?




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