Whistle-Blower Says Residential Charity Allowed Abuse
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 22, 2006
HERTFORD, ENGLAND--The father of a man with intellectual disabilities is threatening legal action against the Hertfordshire County Council and the charity United Response, after a number of abuse allegations surfaced at the care home where his son lives.
According to The Observer, an investigation has just come into light over abuse claims a United Response staff member made last year. In his report, the whistle-blower documented a number of "appalling" incidents of abuse and neglect at the home the charity operates.
Neither the worker nor the resident were named in Sunday's story, which revealed allegations that one resident's feet were damaged and he nearly lost his ability to walk because he was strapped to a wheelchair for hours every day. Another was given his daily medication while strapped, crying, to the toilet. Others were left for hours in their own wastes, and several were reportedly put at risk of overdose because of improper medication procedures.
The whistle-blower also said that employees falsified records to make it appear that residents were engaging in activities -- such as walks, swimming or dancing -- when in reality most were kept inside while staff watched television.
"It became clear that my son's standard of care had fallen far below any acceptable standard," said the resident's father, after learning about the alleged abuse. "An institutionalized culture of neglect appears to have developed over the years. It is all too easy to mistreat people who are not able to stand up for themselves."
The Council and United Response both said the allegations have since been investigated and the problems have been addressed.
"Whistleblower accuses staff of 'appalling' abuse at care home" (The Guardian)