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Commission Welcomes Publication of Revised Care Standards for Nursing Homes

15 Apr 2015

15 April 2015

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed publication by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety of revised Care Standards for Nursing Homes in Northern Ireland. The revised standards set out the minimum requirements for service providers and are intended to improve the quality of care for people living in nursing homes.

Following on from its investigation into nursing homes the Commission also worked to evaluate the standards prior to their consultation. This role has been recognised as valuable by the Department.

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby commented:

“We welcome that the explicit and underpinning principle of the Standards includes the protection and promotion of people’s human rights. We hope that new standards on “quality of life” and “privacy, dignity and personal care” will help address concerns highlighted through our own 2012 investigation. These included the need to improve social interactions, everyday activity and respect for choice, independence and dignity, particularly in the provision of intimate personal care for residents living in nursing homes. The Commission also commends the participatory approach adopted by the Department in developing the revised standards whereby older people’s views were actively sought and included in the process”.


Further information:

For further information please contact Claire Martin on:, (028) 9024 3987 (office)

Notes to editors

1. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.

2. The Department of Health and Social Services has published Revised Care Standards for Nursing Homes. The standards document can be found on the Department’s website at:

3. The Commission published its investigation report into the human rights of older people in nursing homes in 2012. “In Defence of Dignity,” recommendation 3, recommended that the Nursing Homes Minimum Standards integrate human rights standards. The full report can be accessed here:

4. The Commission’s response to the DHSSPS ‘Review of Minimum Standards for Nursing Homes’ is available here: