The sister of a Muckamore Abbey Hospital affected person has advised a public inquiry she believes he was “neglected” throughout his keep on the facility.
The girl stated her brother John suffered from “awful” private hygiene and misplaced weight whereas living in County Antrim hospital between 2004 and 2005.
She is amongst witnesses who’re giving proof to the inquiry into alleged widespread abuse of Muckamore sufferers.
Full names have been withheld with the intention to shield sufferers’ privateness.
Muckamore Abbey Hospital offers inpatient services for adults with psychological well being wants and extreme studying difficulties.
Wednesday’s listening to was advised that John, who’s now in his late 30s, started to exhibit difficult behaviour when he was 14 years outdated.
By the time he reached 18 or 19, there was a big change in his behaviour and he attacked his mom in her mattress.
He was sectioned below the Mental Health Act in 2004 and was delivered to Muckamore.
Initially, John’s mother and father and household weren’t allowed to go to him and had been advised this was with the intention to permit him to get “settled in” on the hospital, the inquiry heard.
When the household had been allowed to go to, they got here to see him as soon as per week.
However, they had been by no means allowed into John’s hospital room as a result of he was staying in a locked ward. Their visits passed off in a tv room away from the ward.
He was moved into an unlocked ward in December 2004 and was discharged from Muckamore in March 2005.
John’s sister advised the inquiry that he appeared unsettled throughout their household visits, describing him as “not sociable, pale, thin and very flat”.
“His hygiene was awful. He was neglected, we all could see it, but unfortunately John couldn’t speak for himself,” she stated.
The witness stated she assumed John was medicated throughout his time in Muckamore, nonetheless, nobody on the hospital ever confirmed this to the household.
She stated members of the family would deliver him garments and sweets, however throughout their visits he was was by no means wearing his outdated personal garments.
She recalled that their mom then started to label all the garments they delivered to Muckamore for John.
The witness added that John always advised his household that he needed to go home and she or he stated her mother and father fought very onerous to get him discharged.
Another of John’s sisters additionally gave proof and she or he described the hospital has being “a hell hole with bars on the windows. No colour on the walls and nothing to stimulate John”.
He was discharged from the hospital with no care package deal in place, however after John left the hospital his sister stated he was “back to his usual self and dancing, singing and very talkative”.
“John is still terrified of Muckamore. He still shudders when the family mentions Muckamore.”
‘We won’t ever really know what went on’
Summing up the household’s experiences, the witness stated: “What we learned is that if there is something wrong, we speak up.
“We did not then and that’s one thing we should reconcile with as a household.”
She added: “John’s experiences had been small, nevertheless it all provides to an even bigger image. There is a tradition constructed up in these services to say that is allowed. It should not be allowed.
“We will never truly know what went on, but this needs to change and change quickly.”
The Muckamore Inquiry was arrange after the emergence of inside CCTV footage in 2017 which allegedly exhibits weak sufferers being bodily and mentally abused by hospital employees.
The allegations are additionally being investigated by police and a number of other former employees have been arrested and questioned lately. Plenty of individuals are dealing with expenses.