Muckamore Abbey crisis – Ford demands full enquiry

Following the revelations that people with learning disability who should be living in the community are being held in locked wards at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, local Alliance MLA David Ford has called for action on three fronts.

David Ford, who is a former Social Worker in the South Antrim area, said:

“I have been very impressed in recent years by the plans announced for the improvement of services at Muckamore Abbey. Many people with learning disabilities are now living successfully in the community. Much building work has already been done to provide better services for those who need hospital care.

“However, the news that patients are being placed in inappropriate wards is very worrying. Urgent action is needed.

“First, the Human Rights Commission should hold an immediate enquiry into this apparent breach of the rights of those held inappropriately. There is clear prima facie evidence that both those who need secure hospital places and those who

need community services are not having their basic needs met properly.

“Second, the Trust should consider what can be done to improve living conditions for these vulnerable citizens by redeploying resources.

“Third, I know from my questions to previous Health Ministers that mental health and learning disability are always the Cinderella services. Acute hospitals consistently receive higher increases in spending, year after year. The

Department must accept the recommendations of the Bamford Review and

provide adequate funding.”


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