Update: Review finds Áras Attracta residents were living 'a half-life'

Update 11.30am: Residents of Áras Attracta in Co. Mayo were living a half-life and weren’t respected as individuals, according to one of the members of the review group.

The group was established following a Prime Time Investigates exposé of maltreatment of several residents at the Swinford care home.

The HSE has apologised to the residents and their families for the manner in which they were treated.

Disability policy analyst and review group member Deirdre Carroll says Áras Attracta was not fit for purpose.

She said: "The lack of activity struck us very much in Aras Attracta, that people really did a lot of sitting around, there was very little stimulation very little connection with the local community in Swinford.

"So it was really a very low level of life, a poor quality of life. A half-life really for many people."

The HSE has published the findings of the Review Group in three reports.

Update: Review finds Áras Attracta residents were living 'a half-life'

1. What matters most sets out the findings of the Review Group in relation to Áras Attracta itself. It includes recommendations relating to Áras Attracta management, actions for the HSE at a national level, and a plan to guide all managers of congregated settings as they move towards decongregation.

2. Time for action deals with the wider system of service provision for people with a disability, and proposes a range of actions to inform national policy across government departments that emerged from a national process of consultation with stakeholders involved in disability services and the wider public.

3. Start listening to us is a documented record of the lived experiences of people with intellectual disability and how they perceive the support they receive.

Chair of the Review Group, Dr Kevin McCoy said: "Critically, in our review, we found the model of care at Áras Attracta to be wrong. The model did not respect the residents as individuals.

"They have suffered isolation and institutional conditioning.

"There was an assumption that the residents could not contribute and do things for themselves: they have been unable to reach their potential. The residents have had a poor quality of life, and their voices have not been heard."

Update 10.20am: The independent review of the Áras Attracta care home has said its residents were subject to staff control, imposed for the convenience of care staff.

The 200-page report, commissioned after an RTE report highlighted shocking treatment of residents in Bungalow three of the facility, said those residents who are ready to move to non-institutional settings must be supported to do so without delay.

The HSE says in the report that 27 residents will begin moving to community settings this year with a further 26 next year.

In his foreword, Chairperson Dr Kevin McCoy said the RTE investigation left "a lasting and indelible impression on anyone who viewed it" and that it "quite rightly led to a public outcry".


A final report will be published later into the care of patients with intellectual disabilities at a home in Co Mayo today.

Aras Attracta was criticised in a draft report by the HSE last month who found there were problems with management, and failures at all levels in the system.

Relations between staff and residents were described as "fraught" while workers' morale was "low".

Difficulties at Aras Attracta first came to light in a Prime Time Investigates programme two years ago.

The report of the Áras Attracta Swinford Review Group was commissioned by the Health Service Executive to undertake an independent review of the quality of care provided at the facility.

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