14/02/2019

MP Demands Public Inquiry Into Muckamore Abbey

A DUP MP has called on the Secretary of State Karen Bradley to hold a public inquiry into the allegations of abuse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital in County Antrim.

It comes amid a police investigation into claims that a number of vulnerable patients were subjected to physical and mental abuse.

Gavin Robinson described the situation as "a scandal" and urged the Secretary to take immediate action during a parliamentary session in the House of Commons.

A review in December 2018 discovered that the facility had allowed a culture of tolerating harm.

"I have listened to the heart breaking stories from loved ones when I met with them and I am disgusted at how they have been let down," the east Belfast MP said.
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"Furthermore, I raised it personally with the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley. One of the consequences of no Executive is that there is no political oversight of the scandal of abuse at Muckamore Abbey. This issue hasn't had the full consideration in the House of Commons and it won't have full consideration in Northern Ireland with no functioning Executive.

"Everyone knows that this was supposed to be a sanctuary for adults with learning disabilities. Instead they were physically abused and assaulted by people who were entrusted with their care. Investigations should take place, with no stone left unturned.

"The Secretary of State knows that she is the only person through the inquiries act who can open a public inquiry into this. There are families that deserve answers and who need to have closure on this matter."

Meanwhile, the Belfast Trust is set to develop a review into the governance, leadership and management in relation to allegations of abuse at the hospital.

A committee will be established, including the trusts directors, with an independent panel to set the terms of reference.



(JG)

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