Care home nurse failed to investigate Cherry Tree abuse claims

A care home nurse who worked at a County Antrim care home has been found guilty of failing to investigate allegations of abuse against five residents.

Katherine McCall worked at Cherry Tree House nursing home in Carrickfergus between 2007 and 2011.

She appeared at a disciplinary hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Last year, in a separate case, a whistleblower told the BBC that she had first made allegations of patient neglect at the home eight years ago.

At the disciplinary hearing in Belfast on Thursday, the panel also found Ms McCall guilty of bringing the nursing profession into disrepute.

As nursing manager at Cherry Tree House, she was asked to investigate allegations of abuse by one member of staff against eight residents at the end of 2010 and the start of the following year.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found sufficient evidence that Ms McCall had failed to properly investigate five of those cases.

Last November, Health Minister Edwin Poots ordered the health watchdog, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), to carry out a review of Cherry Tree House nursing home.

The minister’s action followed BBC revelations that a whistleblower had first made allegations of patient neglect and poor practice at the home in 2005.