Tuesday 17 July 2018

Revealed: Patients have made more than 100 sex assault complaints in three years

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Robin Schiller

More than 100 sexual assault complaints have been made at mental health facilities over the last three years, it has emerged.

The reports were made to HSE management by patients at various services within the Mental Health Division between January 2015 and November 2017.

The figures were released to the Irish Independent under a Freedom of Information request.

In total, 104 reports of sexual assault, including rape, were made within Mental Health Services, but the HSE did not disclose how many of these cases were referred to gardaí.

A HSE spokeswoman said: "All incidents that involve the safety of mental health service users are managed under the Trust in Care policy.

"This includes referrals to An Garda Síochána in certain circumstances. Such referrals are not recorded on the National Incident Management System (NIMS)."

The number of reported sexual offences has dropped in recent years, with a total of 41 recorded in 2015.

That figure dropped to 38 the following year, while in the first 11 months of last year there were 25 such allegations made.

HSE guidelines state that, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a criminal act has been committed, the matter must be reported immediately to gardaí .

The guidelines state that health care agencies are also obliged to carry out their own investigations into any such allegations.

Irish Independent

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