Another fine mess

I was pretty shocked/horrified to get this comment on facebook last night in response to yesterdays post about abuse in a second MacIntyre school.

Oh my god Sara things have been going horribly wrong at here for our daughter lately and we kept trying to find out what was going on no answers -so many staff jumping ship and change of carers at residential care. Much to our frustration and anger no-one was filling us in on anything but tonight I learn from your blog that this is exactly what is going on at a place where our daughter attends has left me sick to my stomach. She is about to leave here and now I just want to pull her out tonight. What the hell type of care do they call this …..I am gutted truly gutted …….

Caroline (not real name) learned via facebook that there was an investigation into abuse at her daughter’s residential school?

I noticed the increase of agency staff that had not being introduced to Jenny or ourselves. I made a complaint and was assured that it would not happen again. We are dealing with autistic people here with very complex needs and epilepsy and after everything that has happened in Slade House, I was being a complete pain in the backside about everything being monitored and who is working with Jenny when… Saturday night we rang for our usual evening update… only for the phone to be answered by a complete stranger and we could hear poor Jenny in complete distress roaring and screaming so rather than wait for the stranger to explain, we went and got her at 9.30 at night. Raging, I demanded to speak to head of care there this morning and would not leave until I saw her.

She was a complete nightmare saying “she understands” how frustrated I feel. Oh my god I lost it. “Do you? Do you really know how hard it is to have your only child in residential care only to find that she is NOT getting the care she is entitled to?” 

Still no mention as to why staff at the house were all leaving in a matter of weeks. We could not figure it out. But OCC did not let us know either. So fucking angry . My head is all over the place – I don’t know what to think. Why weren’t we informed ? Why ?

Not sure there’s an awful lot to add really. Other than the cesspit of health and social care provision for learning disabled young people and adults is clearly festering in Oxfordshire. And the positive action taken over the first MacIntyre abuse incident may have led to the second one being discovered, but some other balls have been dropped along the way.

Jane and Peter; No voice, no choice… just put up with it

The second in this series of ‘Tales from the community’* features Jane’s fight to try and get her adult son’s care provider to engage with her and involve her in decisions around his care. Peter moved to a shared home with 24 hour care in 2001. Jane was excluded from decisions around his care. A Best Interests meeting was held in 2009 in which it was agreed that Jane should be involved in decision making for Peter. Two years later, still excluded, Jane applied to the Court of Protection to act as Peter’s deputy in decisions around his health and welfare. This led to no change on the part of the provider who continues to exclude Jane.

Jane then attempted to change Peter’s provider:

“So last year in December, I applied again to the court and somehow the provider and commissioners persuaded the Official Solicitor that as my son was autistic, he would not cope with change. So he had to stay BUT I had yet another court agreement saying everyone had to work with me on decision making as before.

Well here we are less than 6 months into this agreement, I have just found out that sometime last year my son had a new tenancy agreement and landlord which I knew absolutely nothing about. Also my son appears to be very short of money due to his benefit money being spent like water by staff over a long period of time, again without discussion with me.”

So what is Jane being excluded from? Here’s a couple of examples:

“From 2001 through to when I first took legal action in 2008, not one person involved me in contributing to Peter’s annual care reviews. A care manager told me later in 2010, “we did not know about you””.


Peter was rushed to hospital late one night, “supposedly injured due to falling from a seizure. No one told me about it until 9am the next morning. The staff member involved left Peter, who is autistic and without speech at the hospital alone from the early hours. He was left traumatised for a long time after this by being totally silent. He usually vocalises by “grunts”- poor man, I felt like I had let him down. No one spoke about this after. No enquiry, just pretend it did not happen. No voice, no choice… just put up with it.”

Jane has complained to the provider, to the local authority and to the CQC (the latter are taking forward Jane’s concerns, the former two are bouncing the blame between each other).

Jane ended her email;

“Sadly the money just runs out when dealing with these people, and quite frankly several thousands of pounds and two court agreements later they still can’t get it right.”

*These tales are presented without comment from me (which is proving harder than I thought). Names are changed. Other tales are also being told elsewhere… For example, you can read about Chris, about David, about Claire and Steven Neary. Here’s hoping that the public recording of these stories leads to some change, somehow. Positive tales are, of course, very welcome.

Tales from the community

Thought I’d start to share a few of the stories we have been told recently about provision for the dudes ‘in the community’. I know this blog is used in social care teaching and thought they may provide some useful fodder for discussion. Names are removed and I ain’t commenting. Just retelling.

So here’s the gig.

Dude Dean (DD) is ‘independently supported’ to live in a shared house. His support needs are judged to be such that he has a limited amount of support. He shares the house with Dude Lenny who is judged to have high support needs and 24 hour support. Their house is connected through a lobby to a second house which has three dudes all with 24 hour support packages.

Now most Saturdays, Dude Lenny goes back to his parent’s house which leaves DD home alone. In House 2, the dudes are put to bed early (I ain’t commenting, just retelling) and the three support workers watch the TV. DD often nipped through to House 2 to watch the TV with them until the care manager found out and said he was breaching the privacy of the three dudes whose house it was.


DD wasn’t happy. A young man in his twenties, he didn’t want to spend Saturday night on his own. His mum asked if one of the three support workers from House 2 could come through and hang out with him, as they were only watching TV. No, she was told. They were supporting the three dudes in House 2. Not DD.

So what does DD do? Phone his mum of a Saturday night, upset and lonely.

The end.