Three Áras Attracta staff nurses suspended

HSE announces move as abuse investigation broadened in wake of RTÉ documentary

 

Three further members of staff at the Áras Attracta care home have been suspended, according to the Health Service Executive.

Earlier this week, it emerged that an inquiry into the alleged abuse of patients at the facility would focus on four additional employees in the wake of an RTÉ Prime Time documentary into practices at the HSE-run home.

In a statement released yesterday, a HSE spokeswoman said three staff nurses have been “placed off duty with pay”, and one care assistant has been placed under increased supervision while on duty. Initially, 14 employees were suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an investigation started after a TV documentary which purported to show scenes of abuse at the facility in Swinford, Co Mayo.

Increased supervision

“As part of the ongoing HSE investigation into Áras Attracta and following viewing of the Prime Time Investigates footage . . . the HSE has placed three members of nursing staff off duty with pay, and placed one care assistant under increased supervision while on duty,” said the spokeswoman.

She continued: “These actions, which are effective immediately, are protective measures both for the residents and the individual members of staff concerned and have been taken without prejudice to those members of staff pending the results of the investigation.”

The RTÉ Prime Time Investigates documentary late last year reported instances of slapping, kicking, force-feeding and emotional abuse directed at vulnerable female residents.

The accusations primarily centred around events which took place in Bungalow 3 at the centre. Six staff members were later charged with assault in connection with the alleged incidents, and Minister of State for Primary Care Kathleen Lynch said she was “shocked and distressed” by the footage.

A further employee was suspended last month and a contract worker was let go.