T5. Mr Blair asked the Minister of Health to comment on the issue of recently resigned RQIA officials who have taken up posts with private care home providers, some of which have recorded high numbers of COVID incidents and deaths and on which those same officials may have written reports. (AQT 935/17-22)
I thank the Minister for the answer. More broadly, then, does the Minister agree that there should be strict governance structures, perhaps even a stipulated time lapse between a public servant leaving the role of inspector and moving to a related business area in the private sector?
Again, I have not previously considered that. It has not been in my train of thought or come across my desk. We are looking into how care homes and what they provide are being regulated. If it comes up in the discussions or is brought forward in the review of regulations or the decision-making process, I will certainly take cognisance of it. I am not currently working on that.