20/03/2019

Investigation Into Dunmurry Care Home Extended

Detectives investigating allegations of the mistreatment of elderly residents at Dunmurry Manor Care Home have extended their probe.

A Sinn Fein MLA has expressed concern after the investigation was widened to include the care of residents between June 2014 and July 2017.

Colm Gildernew, the party's spokesperson for Carers and Wellbeing, said the development indicates further oversights into the case and management of the facility. He commented: "After meeting with some of the families originally involved with the Home Truths report from the Commissioner of Older People, into Dunmurry Manor, I know this will cause those families and residents who lived there some distress and anxiety.

"When we last met with the PSNI, we encouraged them to ensure that the investigation was given sufficient resources and that the families of those involved must be kept informed throughout the process.

"Given that the investigation remit has been extended it suggests that there are more questions regarding the oversight and management of the care home. The PSNI must be given the space to follow all lines of enquiry."
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Meanwhile, SDLP Councillor for west Belfast Brian Heading has called on the Department of Health to allow full disclosure of all reports and reviews of actions which led to failings at Dunmurry Manor.

"The systemic failures of care at Dunmurry Manor led to a degrading and disgraceful environment for vulnerable residents," Councillor Heading commented. "The investigation, report and recommendations from the Commissioner for Older People reveal the extent of these serious failures and the action required to address the situation.

"In order to reform the system and restore confidence in residential care provision, the Department of Health must now commit to full disclosure of any further reviews or reports into the actions which allowed this toxic environment to endure. This should include the independent review of actions by the HSC currently underway.

"Public confidence in residential care has plummeted since a light was shone on the practice at Dunmurry Manor. The only way to repair that relationship is a commitment to transparency and accountability at all levels. Publication of further reviews is the first step."



(JG/CM)

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