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Domiciliary charity Extra Care given all-clear by report

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Extra Care provides a range of services to people who need support to remain in their home, including personal hygiene, assistance in and out of bed, and helping dialysis patients. (Joe Giddens/PA)

Extra Care provides a range of services to people who need support to remain in their home, including personal hygiene, assistance in and out of bed, and helping dialysis patients. (Joe Giddens/PA)

Extra Care provides a range of services to people who need support to remain in their home, including personal hygiene, assistance in and out of bed, and helping dialysis patients. (Joe Giddens/PA)

Northern Ireland's biggest domiciliary care charity has said it was "always confident" that the outcome of a recent inspection would show that it continues to deliver an "excellent service".

Extra Care, which provides community care packages on behalf of the health trusts, was given the all-clear by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) after it addressed concerns that had been raised by the health watchdog.

The Antrim-based organisation was given three 'failure to comply' notices by the RQIA.

Reacting to the positive outcome of an inspection earlier this month, chief executive Brian Hutchinson said he never doubted that Extra Care's "excellent service" would be recognised.

"We were always confident that a follow-up inspection would confirm the excellent service that we continue to deliver for our service users, reflecting the hard work and dedication of our carers and all the staff in Extra Care," Mr Hutchinson commented.

"We will continue to work closely with the RQIA and our partners in the health trusts to help our service users live independent lives."

Last month Extra Care was handed three failure to comply notices by the RQIA after a failing discovered on March 6.

At the time the health watchdog said it found "evidence to demonstrate that the safety and wellbeing of service users had been placed at risk". Following the recent inspection a spokesman said the domiciliary care charity had complied with its regulations.

"RQIA is pleased to report that Extra Care in Antrim has achieved compliance with regulations following a period of enforcement action," he said.

"On July 9 we inspected this service and we were satisfied with the actions taken by the management of this service to address the concerns highlighted in our enforcement notices."

The RQIA spokesman also said the watchdog would continue to monitor the organisation.

"The safety and wellbeing of all those in receipt of care from Extra Care is of paramount importance to RQIA, and we continue to monitor this service through our ongoing regulatory activities," he added.

Extra Care provides a range of services to people who need support to remain in their home, including personal hygiene, assistance in and out of bed, and helping dialysis patients.

Its website states: "For over 80 years, we have been leading the way in how home care is delivered."

It describes its vision as "to be the leading provider of and champion for innovative, high quality, cost effective and flexible services", while listing integrity, honesty and respect among its values.

The RQIA inspection in March 2020 said three service users and their representatives had raised concerns with the agency's management team, but these had not been consistently recorded.

Belfast Telegraph