William Eichler 08 June 2017

Councils accused of ‘poor commissioning’ in Devon care home abuse case

Councils accused of ‘poor commissioning’ in Devon care home abuse case image

Learning disabilities charities have blamed ‘poor commissioning’ by local authorities and ‘weak inspection’ regimes for abuse in two care homes in Devon.

Four company directors and nine employees have been sentenced in relation to the abuse of vulnerable residents at care homes in Devon.

Atlas Project Team Ltd ran the up to £4,000 per week per person Veilstone and Gatooma homes in Holsworthy, providing care for residents with significant learning disabilities.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has reported during 2010 and 2011 residents were ‘repeatedly and systematically’ detained in seclusion rooms which had no heating or toilet facilities, and little or no furniture.

This could last sometimes for several hours at a time or even overnight, and created what Huw Rogers of the CPS described as a ‘culture of abuse’.

Mr Rogers added this was a ‘ground-breaking case’ because the directors and managers of the homes and not just the staff had been held to account.

Responding to the news, the chief executive of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation Vivien Cooper and Mencap chief executive Jan Tregelles, said: ‘Despite several warning signs, it took far too long for the abusive practices at the care homes to be exposed.

‘Poor commissioning by a number of local authorities and weak inspection allowed an abusive culture to develop and sustain itself with devastating consequences for individuals and their families.’

‘Across the country thousands of people with a learning disability, autism and behaviour that challenges are still subject to unacceptable practices, including the use of dangerous restraint techniques, the administration of anti-psychotic medication when they don’t have a mental illness and the use of solitary confinement,’ they continued.

‘This environment, which enables commissioners to spend thousands of pounds per week of public money on the wrong type of services with no accountability, must change.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Casual Leisure Assistant (Lifeguard)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£10.55 per hour, plus holiday relief pay allowance
Are you a friendly and confident communicator who enjoys meeting people and providing great service? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Service Manager - A&I and CYPWD

Essex County Council
Negotiable
We're serious about social work at Essex County Council. It's demanding, it's complex, but it's also hugely fulfilling. Here you'll have time to be th England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Family Hub Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£30,300 - £40,900 per annum
We are looking for two vibrant and motivated Senior Family Hub Practitioners to work within the Early Help Service supporting the... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant x3

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
We are looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Safety Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an experienced and competent officer to carry out inspections, surveys and investigations in Wembley National Stadium... Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue