Monitoring fails most vulnerable - Care home abuse

Just like the infamous H-Blocks in the North or the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, ‘Bungalow 3’ is well on the way to gaining notoriety as a place of horrific abuse and mistreatment of its inmates. But who is to blame for such behaviour, apart from the perpetrators themselves?

Monitoring fails most vulnerable - Care home abuse

There has, so far, been a lot of hand-wringing, but no sign of anyone in authority taking overall responsibility.

Tuesday night’s RTÉ documentary showing staff mistreating residents at the Co Mayo centre for adults with intellectual disabilities depicts “evil acts”, according to Phelim Quinn of the Health Information and Quality Authority. Yet he and his agency have yet to accept their measure of responsibility for what went on. Mr Quinn has denied that Hiqa, which is charged with monitoring standards, failed in its duty towards Áras Attracta residents.

It is not as if Hiqa was unaware of the doubtful standards of care at the home. It raised concerns with the HSE last February, describing the treatment of residents as “verging on abusive”. In response, the HSE convinced Hiqa that new management systems in place ensured better treatment.

Those systems clearly failed, but the real worry is how the HSE managed to hoodwink the oversight body that all was well at Áras Attracta.

What is the point of having a monitoring service that doesn’t monitor?

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