By VIEW editor Brian Pelan
Relatives of loved ones sat in grim-faced stony silence or held hands as the devastating report ‘Home Truths‘ into Dunmurry Manor Care Home was read out today in Belfast.
It seems out of place to use the word ‘care’ as it was totally lacking for many residents.
If your loved one – your mother, your father – has to go into a care home, you want them to be treated with respect and common decency and not to be physically and sexually abused.
The Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch, whose report, Home Truths’ was launched at the Clayton Hotel, Belfast, said: “When I launched my report into Dunmurry Manor Care Home nothing prepared me for what I was about to uncover.
“I found that some residents who were extremely vulnerable, living with dementia, experienced a horrific catalogue of inhuman and degrading treatment, with many spending their last few months living in appalling circumstances.”
Mr Lynch launched his investigation last year into the care provided in Dunmurry Manor Care Home and the actions of its owner, Runwood Homes Ltd, the Department of Health, the regulator RQIA and four of the five Health and Social Care Trusts that had placed residents in the care home.
Mr Lynch added: “When a loved one is in a care home we expect them to be provided with good food, adequate drinks and kept safe from harm, physical and sexual assault. It makes me extremely angry that this was certainly not the case for everyone living in Dunmurry Manor.”
The managing director of Runwood Care Homes, which owns Dunmurry Manor, has resigned.
A company spokesperson said Logan Logeswaran had stepped down following the findings of the report.
Mr Lynch said it had become clear as his investigation went on that none of the bodies involved in regulating the home, including the RQIA, were aware of the full scale of the issues being experienced by the residents:
“My investigation found that many of these terrible incidents occurred during periods of time when the regulator, the RQIA, reported the home to be meeting the required standards of care.
“Despite the regulator carrying out 23 inspections in a 39-month period, they did not find the extent of the problems experienced by many residents.”
The commissioner’s report makes 59 recommendations – among them that an adult safeguarding bill should be introduced without delay and that all staff in care settings should be trained in the implications of human rights on their work.
It remains to be seen how many of these recommendations are actually implemented.