Ireland – HSE report shows allegations not adequately followed up

To read on RTÉ News website:

Ministers meet with HSE over care service reports

Monday 18 July 2016

Ministers Finian McGrath and Simon Harris have met with senior officials from the HSE in the wake of recent reports about services for people with a disability provided by or funded by the executive.

HSE report

The report’s author says because of clients lack of capacity they were unable to escape abuse situations

Serious failings in care services for the intellectually disabled were uncovered by the RTÉ Investigations Unit last week.

The ministers spoke with HSE officials about the serious concerns they have regarding both recent and historical issues about the care by the State of vulnerable people with a disability.

The HSE reiterated their previous public statements to the Public Accounts Committee acknowledging significant service and management failings over a number of years in respect of citizens with a disability and their families who trusted the State to prioritise their additional needs.

The ministers discussed with the HSE the range of measures which are being implemented and progressed in recent years to improve these matters.

They also emphasised the need for the public to be made more aware of the independent bodies to whom they can bring their concerns.

Earlier, the HSE’s Chief Officer of the Community Health Organisation said any cases of neglect or abuse are not acceptable and the HSE takes all avenues to follow up on these issues.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One Aileen Colley said she was reacting to reports that several people under the care of the Health Service Executive had been allegedly abused and were not adequately followed up on for nearly 20 years.

Ms Colly insisted that there were files on all clients and if there were issues, they were addressed.

« I can assure you and your listeners that people have been followed up and those issues of historical abuse have been actioned.

« And they were actioned throughout those intervening years. So it hasn’t just happened in the last short while. »

« We have learned lessons in terms of coming away with a safeguarding policy and looking at lessons brought into today’s world into how we work and follow up on these issues.

« I guess in the context of 30 years ago files will be kept appropriate to that time. »

She also said it was important to look at what happened after the file review.

« From the file review report, actions were looked at, there was a screening from an administration point of view.

« I can tell you we have addressed those issues. That there is a comprehensive tracking of people within agencies, that we have a proactive follow up and that we can map and track those placed within agencies. »

Her remarks come following the latest revelations from a leaked internal Health Service Executive report show clients who had long histories of « shocking alleged abuse » known to the services for up to 20 years were not adequately followed up on.

The author of the leaked report says that because of clients lack of capacity they were unable to escape abuse situations.

(…)

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