Belfast Telegraph

Watchdog's report into care home abuse sparked shock and outrage

Dunmurry Manor
Dunmurry Manor

By Lisa Smyth

The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, published the findings of his 16-month investigation into allegations of abuse at Dunmurry Manor on June 13.

Anyone who had been following the controversy was expecting the document to reveal a catalogue of failings - but no-one could predict the findings would be as harrowing as they turned out to be.

Pressure sores down to the bone and E coli infection, residents with dementia left for hours in urine soaked and vomit covered sheets, some people going without medication for weeks on end, elderly people completely emaciated.

The catalogue of abuse was shocking.

Mr Lynch and his team were clear that Runwood Homes, the company that owns Dunmurry Manor, had failed in its duty of care to the residents.

The firm initially apologised but later stated it did not accept all of Mr Lynch's findings.

Meanwhile, Olive Macleod, the head of the regulatory body tasked with ensuring safe care is being delivered in our care homes, has not apologised, and has also rejected some of Mr Lynch's findings. In particular, she hit out at him raising concerns about resident on resident sex abuse, claiming she would prefer to refer to it as "disinhibited behaviour".

She has since launched her own investigation into what happened at Dunmurry Manor.

Yesterday's announcement by the police is the latest in a long line of probes being carried out into the devastating abuse and neglect at Dunmurry Manor, with the Department of Health also running its own inquiry.

However, it remains to be seen whether any lessons will be learned from the scandal.

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