Parents launch legal bid over son’s hospital bed

The parents of a Belfast man with profound special needs are taking High Court action in a bid to secure a bed for him at Muckamore Abbey Hospital.

Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim
Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim

Their lawyers claim the vulnerable adult is being wrongly denied voluntary admission to a specialist ward despite the advice of doctors.

Judicial review proceedings are being brought against the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

The challenge centres on an alleged decision on June 4 to refuse to admit their son onto the Cranfield Ward for people with learning disabilities.

The 29-year-old man has a number of conditions, including Downs Syndrome and autism. His previous care arrangements involved periods at Cranfield on a voluntary basis.

Another placement at unconnected, private facilities, has been described by his parents as “disastrous”.

In an affidavit his mother set out how they are now struggling to cope with their son’s behaviour at home.

With his parents satisfied on balance at the level of care provided previously in Muckamore Abbey, they believe it is the only option that can cope with their son’s current needs.

A challenge to the alleged refusal to admit their son to the facilities is set to resume at the High Court in Belfast.