1. ITV Report

‘Disturbing picture of inhuman treatment' at care home

Dunmurry Manor Care Home is operated by Runwood Homes Group, which has 11 facilities in NI. Credit: Presseye

An investigation into a Northern Ireland care home has found evidence of “inhuman and degrading treatment”, including sexual and physical assaults on female residents.

Dunmurry Manor Care Home has been the subject of an investigation by the Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch and a damning report on the findings has now been published.

Relatives of vulnerable residents have told UTV that knowing what their loved ones endured will forever haunt them.

The Home Truths report details an Credit: UTV

One vulnerable person - an 88-year-old with dementia named only as Resident A - suffered a number of serious incidents that were not handled appropriately.

They included a fall that resulted in 17 staples to the head and a suspected sexual assault by another resident.

Resident A’s dentures and wedding ring also went missing.

The report is entitled Home Truths as it is my view that the investigation has uncovered the heart-breaking reality of the lived experience of the residents of Dunmurry Manor since it opened in 2014.

– Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People

Another resident – a 72-year-old with dementia referred to as Resident R – was found to have pressure sores “down to the bone” and an E Coli infection.

That resident was in fact Karen McVicker's mother Helen.

“I'm devastated. This will live with me until the day I die," she told UTV.

“No matter what happens, it will never take the pain that my mum suffered.”

The damning report said conditions at Dunmurry Manor Care Home were Credit: UTV

Another resident – an 83-year-old with dementia referred to as resident C – was said to have lost between five and six stone during a five-month stay at Dunmurry Manor prior to passing away.

The family feared medical advice on suitable meals was not being followed and no assistance was given to allow the resident to eat, with food left on a tray and going untouched.

Runwood Homes Group, which operates 11 care homes across Northern Ireland – including Dunmurry Manor – has apologised, and Managing Director Logan Logeswaran resigned on Tuesday.

I am truly sorry we failed to deliver the high standards of care our residents at Dunmurry Manor had the right to expect and that, because of those failures, they and their families have had to endure this distressing experience.

– Gordon Sanders, CEO of Runwood Homes Group

CEO Gordon Sanders said: “The Board of Directors acknowledge and take full responsibility for these failures and the lack of oversight that could have ensured they did not happen.

“In August 2017, I put a new Northern Ireland senior management team in place and we have worked hard to put things right at Dunmurry Manor, as well as taking strenuous steps to ensure such a situation can never arise at any other Group home.

“Residents and their families can be assured that corrective action has been taken.”

The report found the worst of the problems could have been prevented. Credit: UTV

The probe was sparked by a number of complaints from the families of residents and from former staff at the facility, which is home to more than 70 people.

The Commissioner for Older People said: “This is the first time my office has used its statutory powers of investigation to examine an issue and it was a decision I considered very serious.

“Regrettably, this report outlines a disturbing picture where there were many significant failures in safeguarding, care and treatment which led to many of the residents not receiving adequate protection for prolonged periods of time.”

A total of 59 recommendations have been made to improve care and bring about significant change.

We’ll have to live with that for the rest of our lives ... We thought by putting my mum into Dunmurry Manor, we were helping her.

Little did we know what we were putting her into.

– Ann Berry, relative of resident