Muckamore Abbey scandal: Trust agrees to new investigation after family’s complaint

Muckamore Abbey Hospital is the subject of a police investigation
Muckamore Abbey Hospital is the subject of a police investigation

The Belfast Trust has confirmed a fresh investigation is to be carried out into a complaint made by the family of a patient at a hospital at the centre of a major criminal probe into alleged abuse.

Muckamore Abbey Hospial is at the centre of an investigation by the PSNI, with assistance from the National Crime Agency, into allegations patients there were abused by staff.

Muckamore Abbey

Muckamore Abbey

Police have been reviewing thousands of hours of CCTV footage, some of which the trust has admitted shows patients being “mistreated” by staff at the hospital.

Around 20 staff have been suspended.

Both the Department of Health and the trust have apologised repeatedly to families for the way patients were treated.

A ‘Serious Adverse Incident’ review into Muckamore Abbey Hospital, the findings of which were made known to families in December, found a series of catastrophic failings and a culture of tolerating harm.

A new investigation is now to be carried out into a specific complaint made by the family of a patient at the hospital.

Initially, it had been agreed that a second ‘Serious Adverse Incident ‘ review would be carried out, but it was later decided that an independent review would be carried out instead.

A spokesperson for the Belfast Trust said: “With the agreement of the Department of Health, it was determined that this be more appropriately undertaken by a fully independent panel under the trust’s complaints procedure.”

The trust said the health watchdog, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, is “aware of and content with” the arrangement.