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Dunmurry Manor chief rejects damning report as 'flawed and inaccurate'

The chief executive of Runwood homes which operates Dunmurry Manor has described a damning report into its care of residents as "flawed and inaccurate".

The report by the Commissioner for Older People found residents suffered "inhumane and degrading" treatment.

Gordon Saunders apologised to those families concerned but, in an interview with the BBC, insisted their cases were isolated and he was satisfied with the care of the home which he described as "excellent".

He also said parts of the report were incorrect and his solicitors were handling the matter stating that the facility had been given a good report by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQAI).

Mr Saunders was in Belfast to visit the home and spoke to the broadcaster to "put the record straight". He said there had been problems in getting a long term manager to "settle the home" which had been resolved.

He explained how in the care industry there would be failings "across the board" and not just at Runwood homes and the cases contained in the report were "horrendous".

"But I do need to follow through with the findings before I comment on whether they are fact or not because there are some areas of the report we are challenging," he said.

The report found a "horrific catalogue of inhumane and degrading treatment," which Mr Saunders said was "inaccurate". Since the report there have been protests over the RQAI's role and calls for a police investigation.

Mr Saunders said that while he felt parts of the report were flawed he did not want to go into details as the matter was with his lawyers.

He said the commissioner for older people had spoken to resident and not sought the view of those working in the home to get their persepctive.

Mr Saunders said lessons would be learned by those that "felt they were not listened to, to be sure they were in the future".

The Commissioner for Older People said Gordon Saunders and his colleagues were interviewed for the report and it was in "frequent communication" with the solicitor for Runwood Homes "who acted in line with their client's instruction".

"All 61 findings of the independent investigation were based on evidence received and were reviewed by the Commissioner's expert panel," a spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The draft findings were notified to the Relevant Authorities, including Runwood Homes Ltd, in January 2018. They had an opportunity to test these draft findings and to provide evidence to refute them. Runwood Homes Ltd has until October 2018 to provide a formal response to the Commissioner's recommendations, outlining what will be done, and by when."

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