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Five staff members placed on paid leave after abuse allegation at Sunbeam House Services

The organisation says management acted within hours to ensure the safety of residents.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

FIVE MEMBERS OF staff at Sunbeam House Services have been placed on paid leave as an investigation takes place into an allegation of abuse at one of its residential care centres.

The organisation, which is based in Wicklow and south Dublin, provides a range of supports to adults with intellectual disabilities.

A statement from the service said that on Friday 26 January management “received an allegation raising concerns about potential safeguarding issues in a centre operated by us”.

These allegations were considered by senior staff including the internal safeguarding team.

The person who raised the concerns was interviewed the same day, according to Sunbeam, and the organisation also referred the matter to the gardaí on that date.

SHS also took protective measures required to ensure the safety of residents until this matter is investigated fully.
While these allegations are investigated a number of staff have been placed on paid leave. We have advised all the relevant authorities and have spoken to the families involved.
SHS will conduct a full investigation of these matters also.
SHS are liaising with the Gardai to ensure that our investigation does not impede the Garda investigation.

CEO of Sunbeam House Services Hugh Kane told TheJournal.ie that allegations made against staff were always examined immediately. ”We act in the best interests of making sure people are safe,” he said.

Health watchdog Hiqa had been advised of the allegation as had the HSE, he said.

He said the staff had been placed on leave with full pay so the matter could be investigated fully, while protecting residents.

The Sunbeam House Services Family Advocacy Group said it had fielded “numerous calls from families” of the service’s clients who said they had not been notified directly of the staff being placed on paid leave in the wake of the matter being first reported this morning by RTÉ.

Asked whether all families would be contacted, Kane stressed that families who needed to be told directly about the allegation had been contacted at the time and that he did not envisage sending out further letters or emails.

If there’s a problem in a centre where your family member resides my staff will ring you directly. We do that once there’s an allegation in a particular place.

The organisation provides residential care services for 155 people.

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