Belfast Telegraph

Documents reveal care home abuse

Management cover-ups and petrified nursing staff have been blamed for a harrowing catalogue of physical abuse at a care home for the elderly in affluent south Dublin.

Legal documents expose Rostrevor House in Rathgar, which the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) shut down last Friday, as a private nursing home run by fear.

Vulnerable elderly people's lives were put at risk through repeated attacks, unusually high numbers of falls, verbal abuse and management's apparent lack of action, Hiqa claimed.

Damning court papers which revealed the extent of alleged abuse prompted calls for promised whistleblowers laws to be rushed in.

Dr Tracey Cooper, Hiqa chief inspector, said she feared for the life and health of residents in Rostrevor.

"I say that I have serious and immediate concerns regarding the life, health and welfare of the residents of the nursing home," she said.

Immigrant care staff were said to be afraid to report abuse, fearing their visas relied solely on the job at Rostrevor.

Some of the most horrifying abuse is alleged to have been carried out by a male care assistant, Mr P, from 2008 until his recent dismissal. It is claimed he physically and verbally abused residents.

He is accused of banging an elderly man`s head off a door jamb, ordering staff to say he fell and, separately, kicking the same elderly man a number of times while on the ground and refusing to stop despite pleas from other staff.

In another attack, Hiqa has accused Mr P of routinely taking another elderly woman to a bathroom on his own and said he told other staff only he could do this. Screams could be heard from the toilet in some of these incidents.

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