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Complaints at abuse care home were ignored in past

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Disgrace: Residents of Aras Attracta are abused by staff

Disgrace: Residents of Aras Attracta are abused by staff

Disgrace: Residents of Aras Attracta are abused by staff

STAFF at Aras Attracta who were caught on camera abusing residents have worked at the centre for over a decade and had previously had complaints made against them.

An employee at Aras Attracta who raised concerns about treatment of residents told how his complaints were ignored and in one instance a written complaint was handed back to him.

The staff member told the Herald he had repeatedly raised concerns about the treatment of residents at the hands of a specific group of staff but little action was taken.

In one case he claims a complaint he made against one of the staff, who was later caught abusing elderly patients, was returned to him.

Horror

One of the staff members had also come to the attention of officials after a HIQA report raised concerns about feeding residents too quickly.

"There were a litany of issues over the years. I wasn't the only one raising concerns," the employee said. "Others also tried to raise concerns but the footage clearly shows little has changed. There are some really good people in Aras Attracta but they have been silenced."

The staff member also revealed his horror at watching residents he had cared for being so mistreated.

"Watching how they made poor Ivy plead to go to the toilet. It would have been easier to take her three or four times in all the time they left her there.

"I couldn't believe they made her apologise to [the man who sat on her], everybody knows Ivy doesn't like men," he added.

It also emerged that many of those staff members caught on camera abusing residents have worked at the home for more than a decade.

The latest suspensions bring to 11 the number of staff on paid leave as three separate investigations into the abuse takes place.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he found the abuse of residents at Aras Attracta to be "sickening".

But Mr Kenny is not opting for an independent inquiry as there are three investigations going on, including the prospect of criminal prosecution.

Mr Kenny said the residents were "defenceless, voiceless".

"It wasn't an example of care. It was an example of control," he said.

scandal

HSE boss Tony O'Brien said he was "devastated" when he watched the Prime Time Investigates.

Separately, senior HSE managers overseeing disability services held a top level meeting in the city centre to discuss the fallout from the scandal.

It was attended by Pat Healy, the national director of Social care and they were briefed on what actions have been taken since the undercover care worker made a complaint about the abuse.

It was decided that the HSE would proceed on plans to send in its own undercover workers to various disability centres to observe practices.

This would have the effect of ensuring feedback for managers and act as incentive for staff to keep high standards of care.

hnews@herald.ie


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