Dunmurry Manor: Department commissions independent review

Dunmurry Manor care home.
Dunmurry Manor care home.

The Department of Health has commissioned an independent review into care failings at Dunmurry Manor, focussing on the actions of the Health and Social Care system.

The care home, owned and operated by Runwood Homes, has been heavily criticised after a report by the Commissioner for Older People highlighted serious cases of neglect and claimed some residents had suffered “a horrific catalogue of inhuman and degrading treatment”.

The Commissioner’s findings were disputed by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, which carried out its own inspections at the home, and Runwood Homes, which described the report as “flawed and inaccurate”.

While disputing the findings of the ‘Home Truths’ report, the Runwood Homes Group issued an apology to residents and their families for the “distressing experience” they had been put through.

Responding to the publication of the Commissioner’s findings, the Department of Health said it would study his report very carefully and provide a formal, comprehensive response.

The review will consider HSC responses to issues at Dunmurry Manor and identify lessons to be learned for the future.

A departmental spokesperson said: “As the Permanent Secretary has made clear, the Department of Health takes very seriously the issues which have emerged from Dunmurry Manor.

“This independent review, which we have commissioned CPEA to carry out, will give us a clear picture of how these care failings came about and, crucially, how we can put systems in place to prevent them occurring again.”

The review is part of a range of actions announced by the Department of Health on June 27, which also included a scoping review on potential options for additional sanctions for private sector care home providers and companies responsible for serious failings, and a public campaign to clarify and build awareness of how care home residents, families, staff and other concerned citizens can raise concerns and make complaints.

According to the department, it will now work with CPEA – an independent consultancy company – to urgently agree terms of reference and methodology for the review.