Muckamore Abbey Hospital, a hospital which provides care for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs, is currently at the centre of the UK’s biggest ever safeguarding investigation into allegations of abuse of vulnerable adults. At present, 35 men and women are living in the hospital facility. On Monday 24th October 2022, families of current patients attended a meeting with Department of Health officials wherein a proposed closure of the hospital was discussed.
In a statement by the Health Minister, Robin Swann said:
“I have carefully considered the options and I believe that signalling a clear intention now to close the hospital would help to support and accelerate the direction of travel to deliver on the long standing policy aim – the resettlement of long-stay patients into appropriate community facilities and support.”
“The model of care represented by large hospital facilities of this kind is outdated and inadequate.”
“My priority continues to be the safety and well-being of all those who use the services provided on the Muckamore site and any decisions about the future of these will only be taken in consultation with patients and their families.”
The Health Minister confirmed that any final decision to close the hospital will involve a defined timescale for closure and will be accompanied by a plan co-produced with current hospital patients and their families. It was also confirmed by the Health Minister that any decision to close the hospital will not affect any of the investigative processes currently under way into the events at Muckamore Abbey Hospital. Both the criminal investigations and the Muckamore Abbey Hospital Public Inquiry will continue according to their planned schedules.
O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors continues to act on behalf of a large cohort of former and present Muckamore residents and their next of kin in association with the ongoing statutory inquiry.