THE final report into the Leas Cross nursing home scandal has been delayed for the third time in less than a year due to the “complexity and volume” of the cases involved.
Despite having an initial publication date of September 2008, the State investigation into the now-closed facility — which began after the initial report by Prof Des O’Neill found “institutional abuse” at the facility — was delayed until the end of last year.
Due to what the inquiry team, led by barrister Diarmuid O’Donovan, said was the volume and complexity of the cases involved, the report by the Leas Cross Commission was delayed for a second time in December, with a new publication date of late March put forward.
However, responding to a parliamentary question by Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd, Minister of State for Older People Máire Hoctor has confirmed that the report has now been delayed for the third time as “certain issues... have recently come to light”.
The State investigation into the nursing home scandal, which began in April 2007, has been asked to examine the role of the HSE and the former health boards in the establishment and supervision of the north Dublin home.
The report will also detail issues regarding the handling of a string of patient complaints while at the facility.
However, speaking to the Irish Examiner, a number of families who saw their relatives mistreated at Leas Cross have raised serious concerns over the delay, with one individual saying it leaves those still grieving “on tenterhooks”.
It has also emerged a separate report into the treatment of a specific resident of Leas Cross with intellectual disabilities is also due to be released in the coming months. A final draft by senior counsel Conor Dignam was due to be concluded in late February.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Mary Harney has confirmed the recruitment of new nursing home inspectors will be concluded by August — with 49 Health Information and Quality Authority inspectors likely by the end of the year.
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