‘No ev­i­dence’ of abuse at de­men­tia care home

Watch­dog hits out over sex­ual as­sault find­ings

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY MICHAEL MCHUGH irish@mgn.co.uk

THERE was no ev­i­dence of in­sti­tu­tional abuse at Dun­murry Manor care home, a watch­dog said yes­ter­day.

The Reg­u­la­tion and Qual­ity Im­prove­ment Author­ity (RQIA) dis­agreed with sec­tions of a scathing re­port by an el­derly per­son’s ad­vo­cate into the treat­ment of those with de­men­tia.

It said the con­clu­sion some were al­legedly ex­posed to sex­u­alised be­hav­iour by fel­low res­i­dents in the Belfast fa­cil­ity was pre­sented in an un­jus­ti­fied fash­ion.

The RQIA added: “Most se­ri­ously we found no ev­i­dence of in­sti­tu­tional abuse and do not be­lieve the com­mis­sioner’s find­ings sup­port this state­ment.”

The author­ity’s state­ment said it found in­stances where the qual­ity of care was not to the ex­pected stan­dard and worked with the man­age­ment of the home to sup­port im­prove­ment. Fol­lowup in­spec­tions found care did get bet­ter for a pe­riod.

It added: “In re­spect of the find­ings of res­i­dent-on-res­i­dent sex­ual as­sault, RQIA is very con­cerned at how the com­mis­sioner has cho­sen to present this find­ing.

“Dis­in­hib­ited sex­u­alised be­hav­iour is not un­com­mon in peo­ple with de­men­tia. For that rea­son, it is not re­garded as crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and is dealt with sen­si­tively by health and so­cial care trust safe­guard­ing teams who work closely with care providers to mit­i­gate risks to all res­i­dents and to de­velop care plans that recog­nise such be­hav­iours as a po­ten­tial ex­pres­sion of dis­tress.

“RQIA does not be­lieve there is any jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the com­mis­sioner’s pre­sen­ta­tion of this find­ing and is con­cerned about the im­pact on res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies.” Com­mis­sioner for Older Peo­ple for North­ern Ire­land Eddie Lynch has said the fail­ure to put in place a ro­bust process to pro­tect fe­male res­i­dents had vi­o­lated their right to en­joy their home and pri­vate life.

He added he found ev­i­dence of pa­tients turn­ing on other pa­tients and sub­ject­ing them to al­leged phys­i­cal and sex­ual as­saults.

The Depart­ment of Health’s top civil ser­vant Richard Pen­gelly has called a meet­ing with health and so­cial care or­gan­i­sa­tions on the mat­ter. He added: “No one should be in any doubt about how se­ri­ously this is­sue is be­ing taken and in­deed has been taken.”

RE­PORT Dun­murry Manor

CON­CERNS Eddie Lynch

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