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Sept. 6, 2016, 10:14 a.m.
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swinford review group áras attracta care hse tuesday

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The model of care provided at the Áras Attracta centre for adults with intellectual disabilities was “wrong” and did not respect the residents as individuals according to the final reports of the Swinford Review Group published on Tuesday.
Group chairman Dr Kevin McCoy said there was an assumption the residents “could not think for themselves”, they had suffered “isolation and institutional conditioning”, have had a “poor quality of life”, and have been “unable to reach their potential”.
He urged that, to move on from the group’s reports, referred to as the McCoy reports, future services for people with intellectual disability should be “person-focused and needs-based”.
Services should be provided in the community, rather than in isolation, and it was important, not just to maintain the health of people with intellectual disability but also include them in social life and respect them as individuals, he said.
The report was commissioned by the HSE after an undercover RTÉ Prime Time Investigates report in late 2014 into the treatment of residents at Bungalow three in Áras Attracta at Swinford, Co Mayo.
HSE National Director of Social Care Pat Healy welcomed the findings of the review and again apologised “unreservedly” to the residents of Áras Attracta and their families “for the manner in which they were treated”.
He said the recommendations of the review group in a series of reports published today support the HSE’s vision for Áras Attracta and for other residential disability services nationally, which is to move to community living, supporting people with disabilities to move to lives of their choice, to decide where they live, who they live with and how they spend their times.
At today’s launch of the reports, the HSE published its response to the recommendations of the review and outlined actions it has taken to improve services at Áras Attracta.
It said it is “moving steadily” towards a community based model of support for the residents to be implemented on a phased basis.
It has also, with the help of Inclusion Ireland, established a “Family Forum” to ensure the voices of the residents and their families are heard and included in all that is done.
The HSE said it is also implementing changes in the management and governance structure of Áras Attracta.