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Adams raises disturbing reports on care facility for people with Intellectual Disabilities

31 March, 2015 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams today raised with Taoiseach Enda Kenny disturbing reports he has received regarding the treatment of people with Intellectual Disabilities at a care facility in Stamullen, Co. Meath.

Mr Adams said HIQA  indicated a denial of the civil, legal and human rights of citizens at Redwood and that residents at Redwood have been subject to deprivation of  liberty and freedom of movement including a ‘locked-door policy’.

Gerry Adams said:

“I have received representation from families of clients of Redwood Care facility in County Meath. One of these, Eamonn Kennedy, was admitted to Redwood in January 2010. Following several falls he was hospitalised with a head injury and lacerations.

“He was hospitalised a second time with further lacerations. Doctors also noted bruising to his upper body, arms, abdomen and legs. Eamonn spent five months in hospital. He was placed in a wheelchair for nearly a year.

“When first admitted to hospital, Eamonn’s sister took photographs of his injuries. I sent these photographs to the former Minister for Health James Reilly. A Garda investigation resulted in no prosecutions.

“In 2012 a Consultant in Emergency Medicine employed by the family noted that Eamonn’s frequent falls may have resulted from a combination of drugs which lead to an increased risk of falls.

“He also noted that: ‘There are certain aspects of bruising which are suspicious of non-accidental injury.’ And that: ‘There appears to be no medical explanation for this bruising....’.

“Another citizen was living independently, with HSE support, prior to moving to Redwood in 2013. Within two days he was given anti-psychotic medication and taken off a gluten and dairy free diet despite family objections.

“He reacted badly and, due to suffering nine convulsions, was admitted to hospital a few days later. He subsequently returned to Redwood and remained there for 3 months on anti-psychotic medication. He is no longer living at Redwood.

“HIQA has said that there has been “a significant denial of the civil, legal and human rights of citizens” at Redwood and that ‘residents at Redwood have also been subject to a severe deprivation of liberty and freedom of movement’ including a ‘locked-door policy’.”

Gerry Adams said the disturbing reports and others which have come to light in other care centres, showed that the State is failing in its responsibilities towards citizens with Intellectual Disabilities who are clients of such facilities.

He said there is growing concern about the consequences of outsourcing care for citizens with disabilities to the private sector:

“Care of our most vulnerable citizens is not compatible with the profit motive. Redwood is part of the privately owned Talbot Group which contracts the HSE to provide services.

“Last July I raised concerns with former Minister for Health, James Reilly about the safety of clients at Redwood.

“In December, a HIQA report into this facility found:

·  Recurrent and lengthy durations of physical intervention

·  An incident in which a patient struggled to breath and turned blue during physical restraint

·  Medication administered by injection during episodes of challenging behaviour

“HIQA recommended no new admissions until these issues were addressed. It is now clear that serious issue regarding the care of citizens with intellectual disabilities is not confined to one care facility. What is required now is a fully Independent, root-and-branch inquiry into all care facilities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the State.”

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