1. ITV Report

Man arrested amid Muckamore Abbey abuse probe

Police are investigating allegations of patient ill-treatment at Muckamore Abbey Hospital. Credit: Pacemaker

A 30-year-old man has been arrested by police investigating allegations of patient ill-treatment at Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Co Antrim.

The man was detained in the Antrim area on Monday morning, by detectives from the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch.

At the end of August, police revealed for the first time the scale of their investigation into allegations of physical and mental abuse of vulnerable patients at the hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Jill Duffie, who is leading the inquiry, confirmed it was the largest case of its kind in Northern Ireland.

She added that hundreds of thousands of hours of CCTV footage had been reviewed by officers.

Speaking at that time, DCI Duffie said: “We’re concentrating at the moment on the incidents that happened in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and, to date, we’re investigating over 400 incidents.

“Within those 400 incidents, we’re looking at approximately 1,500 crimes.

“Largely this relates to physical abuse of the patients, wilful neglect of patients and inappropriate use of seclusion... There has been no sexual abuse captured on the footage.”

The Belfast Trust launched an investigation in 2017 following allegations of abuse of patients by staff at Muckamore Abbey and a number of employees have since been suspended.

The trust has also apologised to “those patients and to their families who have been affected by treatment which falls significantly below acceptable professional standards and which our patients have every right to expect”.