Belfast Telegraph

It's imperative to remember the residents mistreated at scandal-hit care home are real people, just like rest of us

Editor's Viewpoint

The fallout following revelations of vulnerable people being badly mistreated at Dunmurry Manor continues.

We revealed yesterday that the NHS paid over £4.6m to Runwood Homes for operating Dunmurry Manor since 2014. We also reveal the details of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority's response - which raises as many questions as it answers.

There are disturbing details of the suffering endured by grandmother Annie McCourt. She was one of the people who died in Dunmurry Manor, and it is this stark human experience that lies at the heart of the story.

It is the story of the real lives of real people who became infirm and unwell because of old age, and the reality is that it could be any one of us.

These were people who had lived lives of substance but, through no fault of their own, were engulfed by suffering and discomfort in old age.

The experiences must have been very distressing for their families, who were doing all they could to help.

This distress is well-illustrated in the story of Tilly Crawford, aged 97, who suffered appalling neglect at Dunmurry Manor and who died there two weeks ago.

This is all part of the picture of an disgraceful failure to provide proper care.

The devastated families must not be forgotten, and there are on-going concerns.

With people now living much longer and requiring more care, this is a dark scandal that strikes at the heart of many people who worry how a loved one is being looked after, or the sort of care they are entitled to expect.

Due to the widespread nature of the problem, and the universality of worry it generates, there is all the more urgency that reassurance is found for those who need it.

Despite all the publicity so far, the major questions are continuing to pile up.

Regrettably, it must be said that adequate answers are still hard to find.

Belfast Telegraph

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