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‘Muckamore apology welcome but lack of transparency must change’ - Gildernew

18 December, 2018 - by Colm Gildernew

Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has said the lack of transparency and compassion from health and social care trusts in dealing with families of those mistreated in care must change.

Speaking in response to the announcement that Muckamore Abbey Hospital will return to providing acute care rather than a residential facility, the party’s Carers spokesperson commented: 

"I welcome the Permanent Secretary's apology - albeit somewhat delayed - to the families of affected patients in Muckamore Abbey Hospital.

"It's clear from the Belfast Trust's Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) report that the hospital was not delivering the care patients were entitled to.

"The commitment from the Department of Health regarding the model of care in Muckamore Abbey Hospital, while important, will not by itself address the inherent problems within the Belfast Trust that failed to respond properly to the concerns and complaints made by patients and families.

"This failure has been compounded by the Belfast Trust's efforts to delay and obstruct the flow of information to families and the public about what happened to their loved ones.

"This is yet another example, similar to that in the case of Dunmurry Manor Care Home, of a failure in adult safeguarding within the system affecting the most vulnerable people in society.

"It is a reminder of the need for a duty of candour - as recommended previously by the Chair of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry - to put a statutory requirement on health authorities to be open and forthcoming with affected patients and families about what happened under their care.

"An independent public inquiry into Muckamore Abbey Hospital is needed to get to the truth of what happened to those vulnerable people in the Trusts care.”

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