Thirty-nine patients in Muckamore Abbey Hospital who should have been discharged will have to stay as there are no suitable places for them in the community, BBC News NI can reveal.

In January, the permanent health secretary said no one should call the hospital home “when there are better options for their care”.

Thirty patients have been discharged.

The County Antrim hospital is at the centre of a police investigation into allegations that staff abused patients.

Richard Pengelly said he expected the resettlement process to be completed by the end of the year.

That has not happened and many men and women will continue to live in a hospital environment despite assessments that say under the right circumstances they could live in the community.

In a statement

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