The regulator for the social care workforce in Northern Ireland, the NISCC, has assured those living in residential care and their families that safeguards are in place to help protect people from poor standards in social care.
The news comes following the broadcast of a recent BBC Panorama programme on elderly care abuse which has caused anxiety to many people.
Chief Executive of The Northern Irish Social Care Council, Colum Conway, said: “The Panorama programme showed incidents of neglect and abuse that were unacceptable and disgraceful.
"The majority of organisations and their care workers are committed to providing excellent care, delivered in a caring and respectful way.
"It is important to address the small number of cases where these standards are not met.
"I would urge anyone who has concerns about standards in social care to raise these with the care provider immediately to give them the opportunity to address the problem.
"Information on reporting a concern about an individual worker’s care practice is available from the Conduct Section or call the NISCC Conduct team on 028 9041 7600. The Patient Client Council helpline is also available on 0800 917 0222 if you need support to report your concerns about service standards.”
It is compulsory for the 12,000 care workers employed in adult residential and nursing home settings to register with the NISCC and to meet agreed standards for their training and practice as set out in their Code of Practice.
NISCC investigates cases where a care worker may not have met these standards and has the power to caution them, suspend their social care registration, or remove their registration from the register – which prevents them from working in social care.