The Ministry for Active Ageing took note of the internal independent inquiry led by Justice Geoffrey Valencia regarding the case of Mr Carmel Fino, who went missing from St Vincent de Paul. A summary report of the inquiry is attached to this press release.

The Ministry has also passed the inquiry to the management of SVDP so that all the necessary action required, as stipulated in Public Service Commission rules, can be taken. The Office of the Commissioner for the Older Persons and the Social Care Standards Authority have also been given a copy of the report.

Minister Jo Etienne Abela stated that the independent inquiry had been ordered immediately so that all the facts regarding the case can be established and because he strongly believes in the highest level of accountability and that the best service is offered to the elderly. Minister Abela remarked that the findings of this inquiry do not generally reflect on all the employees at SVDP and praised the efforts of hundreds of employees working within the different premises at SVDP that lead to excellent health care services for the residents.

Minister Abela also noted that several measures implemented recently satisfy the recommendations mentioned in the independent inquiry. An Audit has been immediately commissioned following the case, in order to inspect all security aspects at SVDP which led to an increase in security personnel and currently, the CCTV system within the facility is being updated. As recommended also in the independent inquiry, the tagging/tracking of residents is being explored as a possibility. There is no doubt that security, the residents’ dignity, and medical information will be considered in every decision taken.

During the last SVDP board management meeting, guidelines for a multi-disciplinary assessment were discussed and now they will be implemented. This action will lead to a scientific and clinical balance for the safety of SVDP residents in order to minimise the possibility of having a similar incident. The measures taken anticipate the recommendations of the inquiry led by Justice Valencia. The inquiry also recommends a clearer definition of the roles and duties of nurses and cares and a better system that scrutinises prospective employees and more cooperation between the workers and the management.

Minister Jo Etienne Abela stated that the Ministry will ensure that the recommendations in the inquiry will not only be addressed but implemented in the shortest possible time. “The best care for residents and their relatives will remain a priority of this Ministry”, Minister Jo Etienne Abela concluded. Minister Jo Etienne Abela, along with Permanent Secretary Christine Schembri also met with Mr Carmel Fino’s relatives in an informal meeting. During the meeting, Minister Jo Etienne Abela informed Mr Fino’s relatives with the inquiry findings. Immediately after the meeting, Minister Abela met with the members of the press and all union officials who represent SVDP workers.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister