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NI child protection issues revealed

All five of Northern Ireland's health trusts are riddled with child protection problems, the region's watchdog says.

Among the issues listed by the Regulation Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) were an over-reliance on inexperienced social workers, delays in assessing at-risk children and poor record-keeping.

RQIA chief executive Glenn Houston said: "We identified a number of specific child protection issues where the expected standards were not being met.

"These were brought to the attention of trust management for immediate action."

Health minister Michael McGimpsey said he wanted immediate action from the trusts, and revealed plans to send the RQIA back to ensure basic standards were being met.

The review was launched after a number of high-profile failures in child protection, including the tragic case of a mother who took her own life after smothering her daughter.

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Regulation Quality Improvement Authority