Northern Ireland

Muckamore treatment concerns 'ignored', public inquiry hears

Muckamore Abbey Hospital
Muckamore Abbey Hospital

The sister of a Muckamore Abbey patient has told a public inquiry how she was ignored when she raised concerns about his treatment.

The woman was giving evidence to the public inquiry on Wednesday into the alleged abuse of patients at the Co Antrim hospital.

In 2017 the PSNI launched an investigation after allegations of ill treatment.

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A separate inquiry was launched in 2021 and opened for public hearings in June 2022.

On Wednesday, the woman told the inquiry that she raised concerns about  the care of her brother including alleged assault and claimed he was denied food and use of the toilet.

Mark, known as patient P60, was a patient from between November 2008 and January 2022 until he died after choking on a piece of fruit, which became lodged in his lung.

 He subsequently suffered a heart attack.

His sister said her brother should not have been given unchopped fruit after being diagnosed with a swallowing condition in 2017.

Mark, who suffered from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was admitted to Muckamore in November 2008 for 12-weeks but instead remained there for 13 years.

His sister alleged that some staff members were "unkind" to him.

She and other family members repeatedly brought up concerns but was told she was being "overprotective" and "to get a life".

In 2012 a complaint was lodged by relatives after Mark claimed he had been punched in the head by a member of staff.

His sister was later told via a phone call that the incident had been "misinterpreted".

The loving sister also said her brother died alone in hospital and that will never leave her.