The public can now bring complaints about private nursing homes to Ombudsman Peter Tyndall.
His powers have been extended to cover private nursing homes whose residents are in receipt of state support or subvention.
Before bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman, the person affected must have first tried to resolve their complaint with the nursing home.
Peter Tyndall said he will issue recommendations which, in some cases, will involve redress.
"We will look at complaints on behalf of individuals, we'll see whether somebody suffered some disadvantage as a consequences of a treatment they received - or didn't get access to a service they should have had," he said.
"And then we'll put recommendations in place which people will be asked to make appropriate redress."