July 7, 2020
RQIA Board Resignations – ‘Terms of Reference need amended, in interests of transparency’

Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has raised serious concerns with the Department of Health’s investigation into the unprecedented mass resignation of RQIA Board members. 

Following publication of the Terms of Reference Colm Gildernew expressed concern about the Department of Health’s ability to investigate its own involvement.

Colm Gildernew said:

“The mass resignations of the non-Executive members from the board of the regulator, RQIA, was an astonishing development in the middle of a global health pandemic.

“It was unprecedented in scale and in timing.

”The resignations have been a cause of great concern for those receiving care and treatment across the health and social care system. 

“Sinn Féin raised many questions directly with the Minister of Health including asking for the full range of concerns that were raised with DoH by the RQIA board members and the specific Terms of Reference for the departmental investigation.

“However we have a number of concerns regarding the scope of the DoH investigation and the process of its publication.

“I am concerned that the terms of reference appear to be limited to what DoH deem to be relevant correspondence between the Department of Health and RQIA. Surely all correspondences would be relevant including correspondence within the Department of Health relating to RQIA.

“I am also concerned that the decision to repurpose RQIA and a lack of confidence interim Chief Executive, is not included. 

“These have been mooted as the reasons for the mass resignation of board members and must be scrutinised further.

“The report should be presented directly to the Health committee, at the same time as being received by the Department of Health, to ensure transparency – this is currently not the case.

“I am calling on the Health Minister to urgently agree to amend the Terms of Reference to reflect these grave concerns.” 

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