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News / May 16, 2019

New chief executive sought for Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

by Siobhan Hiscott

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is looking for a new chief executive.

The current chief executive, Olive Macleod, will leave the post in June, having completed a three-year secondment in the role. The body, which oversees safety standards in dental practices, hospitals and care homes in Northern Ireland, is understood to be looking for a permanent successor.

Scrutiny of the RQIA is at an all-time-high following serious failings at a care home on the outskirts of Belfast. Police are currently investigating allegations of neglect and abuse at Dunmurry Manor.

Ms MacLeod drew criticism in the wake of the incidents after commenting that she would prefer to describe resident-on-resident sex abuse as ‘disinhibited behaviour’. Her previous employer, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, has not confirmed whether she will be returning to her old position as director of nursing and user experience.

The RQIA carries out unannounced inspections of dental practices in Northern Ireland to establish their cleanliness and safety. It has the power to close facilities or implement sanctions if its inspectors are concerned about standards.

A spokesperson from the RQIA said: ‘The position of RQIA chief executive is a key role in health and social care in Northern Ireland, and is being advertised on a permanent basis’