Northern Ireland

Muckamore Abbey Hospital: Four staff members suspended

Muckamore Abbey Hospital
Image caption The hospital cares for adults with an intellectual disability, behavioural or mental health problems

Four staff members have been suspended from Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim while police investigate allegations of the "ill-treatment" of patients.

The BBC understand it centres on the care of at least two patients.

Muckamore Abbey Hospital provides acute inpatient care to adults with an intellectual disability, behavioural or mental health problems.

A spokesperson for the Belfast Health Trust said that an incident had come to light several months ago.

"Following concerns identified in relation to the conduct of a small number of staff in Muckamore Abbey Hospital, Belfast Trust has placed four members of staff on precautionary exclusion from work while a full internal investigation is undertaken," it said.

Image caption The police said the safeguarding of any victim was their concern

Families of other long-term patients are being kept informed of the investigation.

The Belfast Trust says it has introduced additional measures and is assured of the ongoing safety and care of the community of patients in the hospital.

Det Ch Insp Tracey Mageean said: "We can confirm that we are working with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust regarding a number of allegations into ill treatment of patients at a hospital facility in Antrim.

"This is a live investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.

"The safeguarding of any vulnerable victim is a priority for the Police Service of Northern Ireland."

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