Muckamore resettlement and public inquiry now urgent, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for a full public inquiry into the scale of abuse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital after it was revealed CCTV footage showed 1,500 crimes on one ward.

Ms Bradshaw was speaking after the PSNI said looking at the incidents in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit was the “largest adult safeguarding case” it had ever undertaken. The South Belfast MLA said there also needed to be an assurance given patients not requiring in-patient care will be moved out of the hospital within weeks.

“We can now see from the shocking scale of the issues arising at Muckamore Abbey Hospital it is important for the police investigation to be able to proceed. We must be mindful the distress these revelations will have caused to the patients and their families, and they will need support as a priority during this stressful period,” she said.

“Last year, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health announced a resettlement process to other residential settings for patients not requiring in-patient care would be complete by December this year. This must now happen within the coming weeks.

“The sheer scale of the abuse and criminal activity recorded will understandably shake public confidence not just in this facility, but in residential health and social care provision more generally. It should be emphasised thousands of people work tirelessly across health and social care in Northern Ireland to provide first-class care, including at Muckamore, but what has been revealed by the police investigation has been nothing short of appalling.

“Therefore there can now be no question a full public inquiry is required urgently, called for by the Secretary of State if necessary.”