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Care homes

Leo: The Áras Attracta abuse is the worst I've ever seen

The Health Minister has been speaking about the shocking footage broadcast by RTÉ last week.

HEALTH MINISTER LEO Varadkar has said that the abuse of vulnerable patients at the Áras Attracta care home in Mayo is the worst he has ever seen.

However Varadkar said we cannot assume that what was broadcast by RTÉ’s Investigation Unit last week is the worst in the country, pointing out that the Swinford facility was well-staffed and had been the subject of inspections by HIQA.

“It’s certainly the worst that I’ve ever seen but how can we know for sure unless we carry out more undercover inspections,” the minister told in a wide-ranging interview yesterday.

He also outlined what more can be done to ensure such abuse does not take place in care facilities:

Video / YouTube

Video: Aoife Barry/

His words come as more than 200 people gather in Dublin for a summit to discuss the fallout from the scandal.

Managers of residential centres for people with intellectual disabilities will be joined by representatives for service users and advocacy groups, as well as personnel from HIQA, the Department of Health and the HSE.

Junior minister Kathleen Lynch and HSE director general Tony O’Brien will also give a speech to attendees. It is understood that O’Brien will talk more about undercover inspectors and encourage more whistleblowing.

Read: ‘Elderly, disabled Aras Attracta resident was hit with a stick’

Aras Attracta family: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of these people now on suspension”

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