The HSE has issued an apology and statement regarding the unpublished ‘Brandon Report’.
The report reveals that at least 18 intellectually disabled residents of a Ard Greine Court, a HSE-run centre in Stranorlar, were allegedly subjected “to sustained sexual abuse” during a 13-year period with the full knowledge of staff and management.
Upwards of 108 incidents of “devastating” abuse were perpetrated on mainly non-verbal adults by another resident, who is given the pseudonym “Brandon” in the report. The resident died last year.
A copy of a report from the HSE’s National Independent Review Panel (NIRP) was obtained by the Irish Times, with details published today.
The HSE says it delayed publication of the report, which it received in 2020, due to ongoing garda investigations.
The full statement from the HSE reads:
Every day the Health Service and its staff seek to provide safe, high-quality health and social care with compassion to many thousands of people in communities around the country, and the public trust us to do this.
What happened in this case fell far short of those standards and we apologise sincerely for that.
When things go wrong the HSE Incident Management Framework provides a mechanism to review what went wrong and to understand how. We take review reports extremely seriously and in all cases, following the acceptance of final review reports, any recommendations made are implemented to prevent future harm.
The HSE received the initial report of the National Independent Review Panel ( the Brandon Report) in August 2020 by which time Brandon* was no longer residing in the service.
The HSE, on receipt of the Report, acted immediately to seek assurance as to the current safety of the residents within the relevant service. The HSE’s primary concern is the current safety of residents. Regular safeguarding meetings take place within the service, which has undergone significant reforms in advancing the Community Healthcare Organisation’s strategy for disability services generally, and specifically in response to the Report findings, building on ongoing improvements in that specific service prior to the report.
The residents of the service and their families remain our priority. All those affected are, and have been, in receipt of a range of multidisciplinary supports. These supports continue to be provided locally, with oversight by senior HSE management at national level.
Following receipt of the initial report the HSE acted to commence implementation of the recommendations – including the establishment of an independently chaired working group at regional level to carry out the service reform and redesign required. This work has been ongoing since 2020 notwithstanding the requirement for finalisation of the Report to await the conclusion of other related processes, and responses from named parties within the report. An Garda Siochána have asked us to delay publication at this point while their investigations continue.