A High Court challenge to reducing the number of inspections at care homes in Northern Ireland has been ended after the directive was rescinded.
The son of a woman with dementia was seeking to judicially review claims the Department of Health unlawfully instructed a watchdog body to suspend some checks during the Covid-19 emergency.
But lawyers for Keith Gray said Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride has now reversed the decision with immediate effect.
It means the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority still has an obligation to carry out inspections at facilities twice a year.
The resolution emerged after the RQIA's nine board members resigned over allegations they were not consulted on decisions taken during the pandemic.
With the legal challenge rendered academic, a hearing due to take place today was taken out of the court list.
The department is also to pay legal costs in an outcome seen as a victory for Mr Gray.
His 73-year-old mother, Briege Gray, is a resident at a private nursing home in Castlewellan, Co Down.
In proceedings mounted in her name, the family's legal team contended that the Department unlawfully directed the RQIA to put some statutory inspections on hold.
They also claimed the authority misinterpreted the direction as providing flexibility to continue inspections remotely.
According to their case the pensioner's human rights were being breached.
However, the family's lawyers said they were informed on Monday night that the direction has been rescinded by the Chief Medical Officer.
Outside court Mr Gray explained why he took the legal action on behalf of all affected families.
"My mother, like thousands of other care home residents, remain the most vulnerable in society, but they were treated as if their wellbeing was less important," he said.
"The handling of the inspection issue collectively between RQIA and the Department left all of us so stressed and worried.
"Thankfully, together with our loved ones in care homes, we can rest a little easier now knowing that full statutory inspections will be reinstated."
His solicitor, Roise Fitzpatrick of KRW Law, added: "This is vindication for Mr Gray and his mother.
"It's been a very stressful time for so many people during the Covid lockdown period."
Ms Fitzpatrick confirmed: "Last night we were advised the Department were no longer resisting the judicial review challenge, and they had agreed to pay all the legal costs for Mr Gray's application.
"The case is now withdrawn, and full statutory inspections will resume without any further interruption.
"That's so important for both the mental and physical well being of care home residents in what is still a very difficult period for everyone."