Boyle concern at Muckamore abbey abuse investigation
Sinn Féin’s Disability and Ethnic Minorities spokesperson Michaela Boyle has expressed grave concern following allegations of ill-treatment of patients at Muckamore Abbey.
The West Tyrone MLA was commenting after the Belfast Health Trust confirmed that three members of staff at the facility have been suspended.
“The reports coming from one ward within Muckamore are deeply concerning,” she said.
“These are amongst some of the most vulnerable people within our society, who are being cared for in what is meant to be a place of safety.
“We have already written to the Trust on this concerning issue. We were aware of an increased use of agency staff and the detrimental impact this could have on the standard of care over a long period of time. However, the issues being reported deserved to be investigated fully and it is right we give space for this to be done.
“We know that staffing within our learning disability sector has gone through a lot of changes with the shift towards community setting but there can be no excuse for some of the issues being raised. These longer-term issues need to be addressed but not at the expense of minimum standards of care.
“Throughout this whole process we must ensure that a high quality standard of care and treatment, of some of the most vulnerable people, is the central aim. I have written to the Belfast Trust requesting a response to our previous correspondences and to arrange an urgent meeting.
“What we need most is a robust investigation into these safeguarding issues and full disclosure and openness in how this has been handled.”