Qualified nurses among Áras Attracta staff taken off duty

Staff include clinical nurse manager who sat on resident in Prime Time footage

Áras Attracta in Co Mayo

Áras Attracta in Co Mayo

 

Most of the staff who have been taken off duty at the Co Mayo disability centre featured in this week’s Prime Time television programme are qualified nurses and care assistants.

The RTÉ programme showed undercover footage of residents at Áras Attracta in Swinford being mistreated by staff.

Eleven individuals are “no longer on duty”, but are being paid as a result of the footage recorded in the centre for adults with intellectual disabilities within the past month and a half. Nine are Health Service Executive staff who have worked at Áras Attracta for a minimum of eight years.

Force-feeding

The Prime Time programme, which focused on the treatment of three women living in the residential facility, included footage of a staff member pinning down and force-feeding a resident, as well as instances of staff members slapping and kicking residents and pushing them into chairs and to the ground.

The most senior person taken off duty after the footage had been collected, but before the programme aired, was a clinical nurse manager seen sitting on one of the residents in the RTÉ programme.

The individual was in charge of Bungalow 3, where the bulk of the footage was recorded, and another bungalow at the facility.

According to pay scales published on the HSE website, the position of clinical nurse manager attracts a salary of between €43,288 and €61,491, depending on grade and length of service.

Trained staff

Four of the other individuals taken off duty are trained staff nurses, three of whom are understood to be registered nurses in intellectual disability nursing.

One of the nurses who featured in the footage was based in bungalow 3 over a period of years, while two other nurses also worked in other units in the facility. It is understood the fourth staff nurse, who did not work in bungalow 3, was taken off duty as a result of footage recorded in a separate unit, bungalow 4, although this footage did not appear in the final programme.

According to the HSE’s published pay scales, the role of registered intellectual disability nurse has salaries of between €27,211 and €43,800, depending on length of service.

It is understood the remaining staff taken off duty were acting as care assistants.

A spokeswoman for the HSE said one care assistant holds a masters degree while three others are Fetac Level 5 trained.

The spokeswoman said an investigation was under way which would inform what disciplinary action, if any, would be taken against the 11 individuals.

“ Disciplinary action cannot be taken in advance of an investigation being completed,” she said.