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`Someone is going to get killed' at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, warns Belfast Trust whistleblower

The hospital, just outside Antrim town, provides inpatient, assessment and treatment facilities for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs, forensic needs or challenging behaviour
Andrew Madden

A WHISTLEBLOWER has warned "someone is going to get killed" at a Co Antrim hospital if "serious issues" at the facility are not dealt with by senior management.

Allegations include "rampant" violent assaults on staff by patients and a "dangerous work environment" at Muckamore Abbey Hospital and lack of support for staff from senior Trust bosses.

The hospital, just outside Antrim town, provides inpatient, assessment and treatment facilities for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs, forensic needs or challenging behaviour.

Over the past year, several staff have been suspended for a variety of safeguarding issues.

The account by the whistleblower has been corroborated by six other workers who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

"Staff are being violently assaulted on a day to day basis and nothing is being done," they said.

"It can't go on. Someone will end up being killed."

It is alleged that the injuries include "massive chunks of hair pulled out, multiple cases of broken bones and severe bites requiring stitches".

Belfast Trust acknowledged there are issues at the hospital.

"Belfast Trust can confirm that a number of staff are currently placed on precautionary suspension; following a number of safeguarding investigations," they said.

"The Trust has a number of mechanisms available to provide staff with support. These include Trust Occupational Health Services, Staffcare Services and an independent Counselling Support for Learning Disability Staff."

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