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Belfast Trust welcomes the publication of ‘A Review of Leadership and Governance at Muckamore Abbey Hospital’

5th August 2020

Belfast Trust has today welcomed the publication of ‘A Review of Leadership and Governance at Muckamore Abbey Hospital’.

Chief Executive, Dr Cathy Jack said, ‘On behalf of the Belfast Trust I welcome the publication of this Review and I apologise unreservedly to those patients and their families who have been failed by this Trust. It is clear there were serious failings in leadership and ineffective escalation of serious matters at Muckamore despite appropriate governance structures. This contributed to an environment which enabled the serious maltreatment of vulnerable people to go unnoticed for so long. This is a matter of profound regret and for that I am deeply sorry.’

Dr Jack continued, ‘I unreservedly apologise to those patients who suffered as a consequence of these failings and to their families who had every right to expect their loved ones were being cared for safely and with respect, dignity, and compassion.’

This Review is part of a series of reviews initiated over the last few years to begin to better understand how such a culture and an environment could have existed and to ensure it can never again be perpetuated.

We acknowledge this is a very painful and lengthy process for patients, families, and carers, past and present. But we are committed to ensuring that the outcomes will lead to better and safer care.

Since the maltreatment of patients has come to light significant lessons have already been learned and many improvements have been put in place to protect against this happening again. We now have rigorous processes to ensure the safe care of patients and we actively encourage a culture of greater openness amongst our staff and our families.

Additionally, there have been many significant improvements that are now embedded and we are confident that Muckamore Abbey Hospital is much safer today.

Belfast Trust welcomes the publication of this Review and we will give it careful and detailed consideration.