Some truly shocking news has been posted by the Daily Mail Online.
CCTV footage from just one ward at Muckamore Abbey Hospital psychiatric unit recorded more than 1,500 crimes. The crimes were committed by the ward staff over a six-month period in 2017-2018.
Muckamore Abbey Hospital in County Antrim provides treatment for people with mental health problems and severe learning disabilities.
The hospital staff repeatedly abused the vulnerable patients, often physically harming them.
The police who are investigating the incidents have called it the ‘largest adult safeguarding case’ of its type in Northern Ireland.
Twenty staff from the Northern Ireland’s hospital have been suspended since 2017. The staff in question consisted mainly of nurses.
In August last year, BBC News NI reported 53 assaults on patients by medical staff at the same hospital, but only 5 were investigated and corroborated.
More than 300,000 hours of footage is being investigated by the police, examining an array of very traumatic events.
Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie has admitted in BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme that they “have seen the repeated pattern of physical and mental abuse of the patients contained within that ward.”
The victims of the abusive treatment would normally be unable to tell anyone about it, making the CCTV footage such a crucial evidence in this case.
The families of the affected patients are in ‘regular contact’ with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The Belfast Health Trust has been issued with a formal notice over Muckamore Abbey Hospital care standards by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).
The enforcement notices given included issues about adult safeguarding, patient finances and staffing and nurse provision.
According to the BBC, RQIA has been working with the Belfast Health Trust to make improvements and they have escalated its enforcing actions since February.
The improvement notices have been acknowledged by the trust, which has been attempting to develop a model of care ‘which is receptive to the changing needs of patients’.
Reading this story, you might be wondering why no one realise the abuse was happening much earlier. What happened to the rest of the medical staff at that ward, or even the hospital, when this was going on? Did no one truly saw anything?
It is hard to wrap our heads around so much abuse happening undiscovered for such an extended period. It is even more jarring to think about the fact that we put so much of our trust in healthcare professionals to treat us right.
These vulnerable patients have done nothing to justify their treatment and we hope justice will be served.
If you or your loved one have been a victim of hospital abuse, seek help. Medical professionals have no right to physically assault their patients, under any circumstance.
Abuse is not limited to just physical harm. If you have suffered sexually or emotionally, you can also pursue legal action and claim compensation.
At Phoenix Solicitors, we recognise how traumatic your abuse must have been. Therefore, we make a promise to treat you with compassion and understanding, from the beginning to the very end.
If you would like to seek advice, please contact our friendly team today.