The Muckamore Abbey Hospital Inquiry (“the Inquiry”) has concluded hearing evidence in what has been termed the Patient’s and Relative’s Experience Phase.
Mr Tom Kark, the Inquiry Chair paid tribute “…to all those who have assisted the Inquiry”. In doing so, he noted, “The journey of many of these witnesses to this Inquiry has, I know, been difficult for them. I hope, however, that many, if not all, were able to get a degree of satisfaction and comfort from knowing that their account has been heard and has been listened to with great care…”. A full transcript of the Chairs’s remarks is available on the Muckamore Abbey Hospital website.
The Inquiry Chair had intended to progress to the next phase of the Inquiry, which relates to the staff experience at the hospital, by mid -October however this did not prove possible. The taking of statements of evidence from staff commenced in the final week of September and the Inquiry will now begin to hear from staff on 13th November 2023.
The Chairman notes, in respect of staff evidence, “…Many staff members to whom the Inquiry wishes to speak have been identified and written to. I hope all will cooperate and I hope that many will want to come and give their accounts. It is important that they do because we need to see all parts of the picture in order to get a full understanding of life within the hospital. If people are uncooperative, as everyone knows, I do have certain powers to compel witnesses but will always hope to persuade, if persuasion is necessary, rather than compel.”
Mr Kark also indicated he will be writing to “the relevant public authorities and organisations” before the end of the year “to inform them of what is required for the purposes of providing evidence to the Inquiry.”
The Inquiry has placed on record its thanks to all who have assisted it to date in its work and looks forward to receiving the level of co-operation and commitment that will be required to bring the important work of the Inquiry to its conclusion.
O’Reilly Stewart Healthcare continues to represent the interests of a large group of patients and relatives affected by the issues under consideration by the Inquiry.