The HSE has published the executive summary of the Brandon report into incidents of sexual abuse by a resident at an HSE-run disability centre in Co Donegal.
The review examined the serious incidents in which the resident in St Joseph’s hospital in Stranorlar, given the name “Brandon” in the report, carried out sexual abuse against other residents.
The review, carried out by the National Independent Review Panel, found that a “common management strategy” to deal with ‘Brandon’s’ behaviour was to move him around various wards.
The report has identified 18 residents who were sexually assaulted by ‘Brandon’ throughout January 2003 to November 2011.
The reports states that the first recorded incident of sexual assault by the resident was January 28th 1997. A further three incidents of inappropriate sexual behaviour were noted from 1997 to December 2002.
The report said that these earlier records suggest that managers knew about the sexual assaults before 2003.
From 2003 onwards the number of incidents of ‘Brandon’s’ sexually inappropriate behaviours increased, the report said.
The first recorded incident in 2003 occurred on January 16th 2003, when ‘Brandon’ was observed to be touching another resident “inappropriately”.
In the period 2003 to 2011 he engaged in a “vast number of highly abusive and sexually intrusive behaviours”.
“Evidence available on file would suggest that Brandon regularly targeted particular individuals and was able to identify particularly vulnerable residents whom he pursued relentlessly,” the report stated.
Brandon was moved a total of nine times in the 15-year period of the review.
“While each of these moves provided some respite to the staff and residents from the ward Brandon was vacating, unfortunately they also gave him access to other residents, many of whom became new victims of his abusive behaviour,” the report stated.
On December 22nd 2011, Brandon was moved to house two, in the Stillwater complex to live by himself away from other vulnerable residents.
“While this move resulted in a sharp reduction in the number of sexual assaults recorded, unfortunately, on September 5th, 2013 he was moved back again to house one to live with the residents he had previously assaulted," the report said.
“Brandon’s move to house two appears to be the only successful strategy employed in the management of Brandon in that it did provide some protection, albeit short term, to other residents.”
In a statement, the HSE said it would like to apologise “to residents and their families for the failings in care” at the residential and day care service for adults with an intellectual disability.
“The HSE fully accepts the findings of the National Independent Review Panel (the Brandon report),” it said in a statement.
“The HSE received the initial report in August 2020 by which time ‘Brandon’ was no longer residing in the service.
“On receipt of the report, the HSE acted immediately to seek assurance as to the current safety of the residents within the relevant service.
“The HSE’s primary concern is the current safety of residents.”