We need to talk about Mencap

The CQC published a chilling review of a Mencap run ‘service’, Precinct Road in Hillingdon, on Friday. Yep. Mencap. Documenting so much so wrong I can’t summarise it here. A series of human wrongs.

This went under the radar until Mark Neary came across it this morning and started to tweet about it.  A teeny tiny (anti) press release was eventually published later today stating very woodenly;

Mencap takes very seriously any requirements and recommendations on how to improve the quality of support we provide. After a recent CQC inspection of Precinct Road in Middlesex we have apologised fully to the people we support and their families.

We have taken immediate steps and great care to fully address the actions outlined by the CQC’s requirements and recommendations. Our procedures and environment at Precinct Road have improved as a result.

Mencap is committed to ensuring that we offer the highest quality care to enable people with a learning disability to live the lives they choose to live.

This was missing the hallmarks of a typical Mencap press release; speed and a grandiose statement by the Chief Exec – usually in cahoots with the CEO of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation – ‘calling upon the government’ to do diddly squat. (Ensuring their continued seats at any table, breakfast or otherwise, where endless, pointless but costly discussions about the provision of services can be chewed over a doughnut or ten). Oh, and no link to the CQC report. Breathtaking.

I’m left thinking… Mencap (or Menace as my autocorrect keeps calling them):

  • How could you possibly be required to improve the services you provide given you are the (self proclaimed) ‘leading voice of learning disability’? With the £b?/millions you have at hand?
  • Why did it take a CQC report to make you act at Precinct Road when it’s clear from the CQC report that the problems identified were apparent for several months?
  • Why have you only apologised to the four people who ‘live’ at Precinct Road and their families? Surely you should issue a wider apology. To all those you ‘support’ and those who fundraise and volunteer for you?
  • How you can possibly say you are committed to ensuring you offer the highest quality care to enable people with a learning disability to live the lives they choose to live… when you don’t?
  • And finally. Are you a provider or a campaigning charity? Because you clearly can’t be both.

12 thoughts on “We need to talk about Mencap

  1. Re: [New post] We need to talk about Mencap

         Hi mydaftlife,

    So much is wrong …its obscene!

    Kind regards,


    Monday, July 27, 2015, 9:28:14 PM, you wrote:

    sarasiobhan posted: “The CQC published a chilling review of a Mencap run ‘service’, Precinct Road in Hillingdon, on Friday. Yep. Mencap. Documenting so much so wrong I can’t summarise it here. A series of human wrongs. This went under the radar until Mark Neary came across” 

  2. Surely Mencap (the ‘leading charity’ etc ‘supporting rights etc etc of people with LA’) should welcome an unbiased public investigation into what and who it is ‘in business’ for? If not why not? Come on Mencap…?

  3. Similar story in Truro, Treseder House (sorry can’t do a link)
    I have long felt that MENCAP should either do world class services or leave well alone. My friend’s son has day carers from MENCAP and the service is very hit and miss. She describes it as run by well intentioned amateurs.

  4. Mencap the support service is different from Mencap tbe campaigning group. Mencap support is as variable as all other support services depends on local staffing.

    • I agree Rachel. Many local Mencap societies know the people in their own community and on the whole serve them well. Whereas Royal Mencap have lost touch with why they existed in the first place. They have come long way from their small beginnings and have turned the charity into a business model that rewards its top brass at the expense of the poor sods in its care homes Who would now donate to Royal Mencap knowing what sort of shoddy care there is in their care homes?.

      I love the way the people caught doing something wrong always say they are committed to ensuring blah blah when the reality is they are really committed to not being found out.

    • Rachel
      Where could I find information explaining this separation? Mencap is Mencap? Separation into a business and a charity? All run from same head office?
      (Local Mencap societies are affiliated and pay their dues…. to which limb?)

  5. We need to talk about oversimplification and slogans – appreciate the complexity of good support – understand it can be done differently – but NOT CHEAPLY – understand what differently is. Do we mean differently or would just doing something we’ll be too provacative – not creative and dynamic enough. Revel in promoting good lives and communities.
    BUT we ALSO need to talk about: medical needs (whoops have I just sworn?), what are inclusive spaces? We need to talk about Valuing gifts and talents that sit outside traditional models of work (whoops that swearing is getting out of hand),. Where too should financial risk sit for people who lack capacity to cope with complex financial implications. What should supported living really be about and look like – it shouldn’t be about having or not having a bloody office – for gods sake if you employ a team of support workers you need a bloody office. Stop oversimplifying – We need to talk about WELFARE – because that is where the debate is currently sitting in the big world of big politics and big money.

    I am not convinced separating campaigning from provision is right. In fact it is probably the arrogance of simple sloganising that has led us where we are. The slogans are seen as posh – strategic. The magic of just saying slogans, ticking a box. Wow how clever we have all been. The operation – the bum wipe – the reality – as unworthy of informing the strategy. Strategy needs detail, underpinning knowledge of operational skill. It also needs good research, numbers and drilling down to people’s realities. Recognising when the slogans are not delivering the desired life – trying to look at why. Some sloganistas just deny – call it false consiousness.

    One last word – C word in care is families. We need to talk about why we are loving, caring normal families. Maybe even working with each other. If we are finding a family run organisation annoying please talk to them – see if there is room for kindness and understanding. I don’t belong to any family run organisation mentioned but sort of feel there could be some serious misunderstandings going on.

  6. not wanting to be enlightened really, Mencap = Brian Rix speaking from the heart 100% wholesome charity , give yesterday, today and in the future. Why not.

  7. Pingback: We need to talk about Mencap | rosemarytrustam

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