Monday 5 December 2016

I won't go back to that place - 'kicked' resident

Published 07/03/2016 | 02:30

In a harrowing account provided to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), it was claimed that the resident was tormented and provoked by a small number of staff, who made their life miserable for a number of years. Photo: PA
In a harrowing account provided to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), it was claimed that the resident was tormented and provoked by a small number of staff, who made their life miserable for a number of years. Photo: PA

An intellectually disabled care home resident complained of being kicked by a staff member and being tormented over the course of several years.

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The allegation was made by a relative of the resident after they had died in a choking incident.

In a harrowing account provided to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), it was claimed that the resident was tormented and provoked by a small number of staff, who made their life miserable for a number of years.

The relative did not speak up more before the relative died because they feared that doing so would only lead to their loved one being punished.

According to the complaint, a redacted version of which was released under Freedom of Information rules, nurses at the care centre were constantly complaining that the relative was "very bold".

The relative said that staff didn't like them to arrive unannounced.

Screaming was sometimes heard from the unit before they entered to visit.

It was claimed that the resident became really upset when returning to the centre after spending time with their family, saying: "I'm not going back to that place."

On a number of occasions, the resident showed bruising on their leg and said a named staff member had kicked them.

The relative said their loved one could talk, wasn't stupid, knew right from wrong and would not lie.

It was alleged that the resident was "subject to physical and mental abuse by a small group".

There may also have been sexual abuse, it was claimed.

Some staff members were taken off duty at one point, but the reason for this was never revealed. But the complainant said the person in charge of the care home "must have known something".

It was alleged the resident may have been over-medicated. There were occasions when they were collected to go out for the day but were barely able to walk or talk.

Communication between staff and the service user's family was very poor, it was claimed.

After they died, records relating to their care were sought under the Freedom of Information Act, but these was never released for the "protection of other service users".

The relative said that they were contacting HIQA now as they were seeking answers.

It is unclear what action HIQA took in relation to the complaint.

The authority said that it was unable to comment on individual cases.

Irish Independent

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