Thursday 29 September 2016

HSE failed to fully probe alleged rape of psychiatric patient - TD

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

Published 16/06/2015 | 02:30

Independent TD Denis Naughten doesn't believe the alleged rape of a psychiatric patient was properly investigated by the mental health services or reported to gardaí
Independent TD Denis Naughten doesn't believe the alleged rape of a psychiatric patient was properly investigated by the mental health services or reported to gardaí

The HSE has been hit with claims that the alleged rape of a psychiatric patient was not properly investigated.

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The allegations centre on a facility in the west of Ireland, where it is claimed a male resident forced himself on a female patient several months ago.

Independent TD Denis Naughten said it appeared the matter had not been properly investigated by the mental health services or reported to gardaí. Concerns have also been raised that the alleged assailant has been allowed remain at the facility, and discharged into his own community at weekends.

Sources said a meeting had taken place between a senior HSE official and the Mental Health Commission to discuss the possibility of an investigation.

A source with knowledge of the matter said: "This is being managed closely by local management. The HSE is aware of the allegations and is actively discussing these with the Mental Health Commission so as to address all of the issues raised."

Mr Naughten previously raised the issue in the Dáil last April, but said he received no response from Health Minister Leo Varadkar. The TD sought assurances at the time that the allegations would be independently investigated.

He raised the matter again at the weekend when he appeared alongside Mr Varadkar on RTÉ's 'The Week in Politics'. Mr Naughten said he had brought his concerns to the minister's attention due to the seriousness of what was alleged and fears for other patients.

"If the claims that were made to me are accurate, and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of them, these are very, very serious and require a very thorough investigation," said Mr Naughten. "This is not only about protecting the people involved, but also protecting other patients throughout the mental health service."

In a letter to Mr Varadkar in May, Mr Naughten called for an independent investigation to be launched. He told the minister a serious assault was alleged to have occurred, "yet this was neither fully investigated by the HSE, nor referred to the gardaí for a criminal investigation".

A spokesman for the minister said he had referred the matter to the HSE.

Irish Independent

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