Thursday 25 May 2017

Nursing home worker denies abuse of elderly

Tom Brady Security Editor

THE man at the centre of patient-abuse allegations at a Dublin nursing home that was shut down has angrily denied the claims to gardai.

Care assistant Kevin Poorun (33) has returned to his native Mauritius -- but has told gardai that the claims are untrue.

And he has the support of the families of many residents of Rostrevor House in Rathgar, on the southside of Dublin.

Gardai are expected to decide shortly whether officers will be sent to Mauritius to formally interview Mr Poorun and take a statement from him. He has already told investigating officers that he will fully co-operate with their inquiries.

During telephone conversations, he is understood to have acknowledged that it was part of his duties at the home to restrain residents when they became violent. But he dismissed allegations that he had abused the residents.

A garda investigation was established last June after a report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), following several visits to the home by its inspectors.

HIQA provided a summary of the alleged abuses to the gardai on May 27 and this was examined to determine if a criminal investigation was required.

HIQA then secured a court order, shutting down the privately run home at Orwell Road.

Among the allegations made against Mr Poorun were that he:

•Banged a resident's head against a door jam.

•Took a female resident to the bathroom on his own as colleagues heard her scream.

•Slapped another male resident while putting him to bed.

A garda file is expected to be submitted to the DPP within the next week. But a decision has yet to be taken on how evidence will be taken from Mr Poorun, who worked at the home from 2008 until earlier this year when he was suspended as a result of the allegations levelled against him by three other staff members.

Officers have already interviewed the owners of the home as well as all of the staff, a number of the former residents and members of their families.

It is understood that a number of families said some of the residents could be violent and suggested that in the past they had welcomed Mr Poorun's intervention to restrain them.

Assaults

Some of the allegations are believed to be based on anecdotal evidence but staff have told gardai that they witnessed assaults on residents.

An independent doctor was also brought in by the gardai to examine case-management files, which should contain details of any incidents or alleged abuses of residents.

A separate investigation is also being held by gardai into suspected fraud claims. This revolves around the payment of monies to people for duties carried out at the home.

The alleged offences are understood to have amounted to around €30,000 over the past three years.

Irish Independent

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