Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disabilities and Mental Health Colm Keaveney has called for an urgent statement from the Government regarding the suspension of a number of staff at Stewarts Care Limited over allegations of abuse or neglect.
Deputy Keaveney commented: “I am extremely concerned by today’s reports surrounding allegations of neglect or abuse and the suspension of a number of staff at Stewart Care Ltd. This raises serious questions that Minister Kathleen Lynch must answer as a matter of priority.
“In particular we need to know when the issues at Stewart Care Ltd came to light. How long have these allegations over standards of care have been known to management at Stewarts Care, to the HSE and to HIQA? Is it a case that the inquiry that’s now underway was initiated on foot of media initial enquiries?
“Now more than ever it is extremely important that there is public confidence in services for people with intellectual disabilities. Just last week, the world marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and later this week the Dáil will debate the Second Stage debate on the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill. The fact that allegations have been made in relation to neglectful or abusive practices is extremely worrying.
“Media reports that these allegations date back to late 2012 and early 2013 require a detailed statement from Minister Lynch. It is essential that we have the most robust monitoring and investigation process to deal with such allegations. We need to foster public confidence in the system to ensure that people feel comfortable coming forward with concerns about alleged unacceptable levels of care.”