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HSE announces 'National Summit' in wake of harrowing Áras Attracta exposé

A raft of measures have been announced by the HSE to deal with the issues raised by tonight’s shocking documentary.

In this distressing screengrab, a staff member sits on top of one of the residents.
In this distressing screengrab, a staff member sits on top of one of the residents.
Image: RTE

A RANGE OF measures have been announced by the HSE to address the serious claims of abuse made against staff as part of tonight’s harrowing RTÉ documentary about the Áras Attracta care home.

The report, broadcast tonight as part of ‘Prime Time’ shows women residents of the home being hit, kicked and threatened by staff.

The footage, which was captured with hidden cameras, also shows one of the residents — a woman in her 50s with serious intellectual disabilities — being dragged across the floor, after being denied permission to sit in her favourite chair.

“Such standards should not and will not be tolerated,” Director General of the HSE Tony O’Brien said in response to the programme.

Nine staff members have been suspended from work in recent weeks, after the claims were reported to the HSE and the Gardaí.

Christy Lynch, CEO of disability support agency KARE, has been appointed by the HSE to head up an investigation into the home — along with three other legal and medical experts.

Additionally:

A full assurance review has also been commissioned of all of the Units in the Aras Attracta facility under the independent chairmanship of Dr Kevin McCoy, assisted by 3 experts within the field and independent of the HSE.

A “system-wide programme of measures” has also been launched to ensure all 908 residential centres for people with disabilities are in line with HIQA standards.

And a ‘national summit’ will take place next Tuesday, the 16th — focusing on initiatives to “improve Client Safety, Dignity, Respect & Culture Change”.

“Much of what was viewed on Primetime falls well below the standards that we expect in the health services,” Tony O’Brien said.

“At the centre of many of these examples of poor practice is individual responsibility of staff members.

“I urge all members of staff of the HSE, without fear or favour, to blow the whistle on any instance of misconduct, disrespect, or abuse towards residents, clients, patients or any service user should they ever witness it.”

Read: Shocking Prime Time doc shows elderly, fragile women being hit, kicked and dragged across the floor 

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