The HSE this week published the Independent Report of the Áras Attracta (McCoy ) Review Group. Following the broadcast of the Prime Time programme Inside Bungalow 3 by RTE in December 2014, the HSE commissioned the McCoy Review Group to undertake an independent review of the quality of care being provided in Áras Attracta. The findings of the Review Group are presented over a series of three reports.
Speaking at the launch, Chair of the Review Group, Dr Kevin McCoy said, “Critically, in our review, we found the model of care at Áras Attracta to be wrong. The model did not respect the residents as individuals. They have suffered isolation and institutional conditioning. There was an assumption that the residents could not contribute and do things for themselves: they have been unable to reach their potential. The residents have had a poor quality of life, and their voices have not been heard.
“To move on from this report, services for people with intellectual disability must be person-focused and needs-based. It is important to not only maintain the health of people with intellectual disability, but to include them in social life and respect them as individuals. Services should be provided in the community, rather than in isolation. This is now well-understood. The HSE has commenced the delivery of key infrastructural changes that are recommended by this review. However, at a national level, while policy favours support for people with intellectual disabilities in the community, the pace of change is still too slow.”
Mr Pat Healy, HSE National Director, Social Care said, “I wish again to apologise unreservedly to the residents of Áras Attracta and their families for the manner in which they were treated. I want to thank Dr McCoy and the members of his Review Group for their work in producing this set of reports.
Their recommendations support our vision for Áras Attracta, and for other residential disability services nationally, which is to move to community living, supporting people with disabilities to live lives of their choosing, to decide where they live, who they live with and how they spend their time.”
Tony Canavan, Chief Officer, HSE Community Healthcare Organisation 2 (Galway, Mayo & Roscommon ), also thanked Dr McCoy and his team for a very comprehensive review of services at Áras Attracta. He noted, “Their report captures the voice of the residents at Áras Attracta and this is particularly valuable in assisting us in our redesign of the services at the centre.”
The findings of the Review Group were presented over a series of three reports: (1 ) What matters most sets out the findings of the Review Group in relation to Áras Attracta itself. It includes recommendations relating to Áras Attracta management, actions for the HSE at a national level, and a plan to guide all managers of congregated settings as they move towards decongregation. (2 ) Time for action deals with the wider system of service provision for people with a disability, and proposes a range of actions to inform national policy across government departments that emerged from a national process of consultation with stakeholders involved in disability services and the wider public. (3 ) Start listening to us is a documented record of the lived experiences of people with intellectual disability and how they perceive the support they receive.