Parents, carers and disabled parents
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How can we get our complaints taken seriously?

Appaloosa1_Appaloosa1_ Member Posts: 2 Connected
Hi, I am mum to a 30yr old young man with Autism & challenging behaviour. My son lives in supported living with 24/7 support. Sadly my son has been left a broken young man following physical, mental & financial abuse by his previous care provider.
We raised 6 safeguardings in 4 months, involved CQC, commissioners, the Ombudsman, the police and finally our MP. 
I find it hard to comprehend how some Care Providers can fail to provide even the barest minimum of care and are purely profit led. These companies are paid vast amounts in funding but choose to employ staff with no experience, who lack competence, lack confidence and have no compassion.
Thankfully my son has a family who will stand up and fight for him but who fights for those with no family ?
Who polices these companies as we found little evidence of our complaints being taken seriously.

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Appaloosa1_ Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing. Sorry what has happened.  There will be many members of our community. Who can identify what you have experiencing.

    I am one of the community champions who guide and advise, help new members. Who join.

    I know from my own personal experiences with former friends.  In the care system.  Spending majority of my time assisting them and getting the problems sorted out If and when they arose.  

    Myself having my own mental health issues and associated difficulties.

    We are here to support you. Please ask if we can help.  Some one will know in our community.  A member of our team be in touch.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Appaloosa1_Appaloosa1_ Member Posts: 2 Connected
    Hi @thespiceman, thanks for your reply. My o/half is a Mental Health Nurse & his input has been invaluable in tackling the abuse my son has been subjected to. I'm also not afraid to stand up and challenge but even with all our combined experience & knowledge taking on a big company seemed to get us nowhere.
    Thankfully we found a new Care Provider for my son but the trauma & stress he suffered will take a long time for him to recover from. 
  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @Appaloosa1_ thank you for updating us and I am sorry to hear what your family have been through. We wish your son all the best with his new care provider. Please do let us know if you have any questions.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    There just nasty causing so much havoc why can’t they leave money housing alone till all sorted then quickly move on with any new claim or appeal tribunal it’s a disgrace glad your son ok x
  • ABCDEABCDE Member Posts: 5 Connected
    I am having issues, many issues, including safeguarding issues with a care provider at the moment. The staff collude and do not meet the basic needs of the supported adult. In fact SS confirmed the evidence I had showed neglect. I was told to go and report the issues to the safeguarding team. 
    Do SS not do this? 
    The provider gives lip service....if you manage to get in touch. NOTHING is done. They don't contact you as promised and concerns raised are disregarded. You're perceived as the problem. No matter how hard I try requests to improve the service and meet basic needs are ignored. 
    If I change provider it's as though we're the problem. The original care provider is overjoyed by  busour continues departure. Doesn't address anything and it's business as usual. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ABCDE and a very warm welcome to the community!

    I'm so sorry you have been having so many issues with the care providers. What steps have you currently taken?
    Scope

  • SabrenutSabrenut Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Apaloosa1 - sorry to hear about your story and what happened and that it sounds like it's not been afforded the seriousness it deserves at all levels you've correctly raised it at.

    Unfortunately, this seems all too common.

    I'm a bit disappointed that the fact that the Law Commission is currently investigating hate crime and is currently in the pre-consultation stage isn't being more well publicised to people with disabilities to enable disabled people and those who support them to make representations about their concerns and experiences on their behalf to the Law Commission when it opens it's investigation to public consultation which will be the next stage at some point most likely this year. So, I hope you find this helpful. 

    Your story is exactly the kind of thing they need to be made aware of so the Law Commission can investigate it as part of the research. You may wish to consider making them aware of this during their consultation stage, you can find the details of the Hate Crime review by searching the internet for "Law commission hate crime".

    As the Law Commission correctly point out on their website on this issue:

    "But criminal law does not treat all of those protected characteristics equally. This means someone who is assaulted based on disability is not afforded the same protection as someone assaulted because of their race."

    The only way the Law Commission can help people with disabilities achieve justice is if people present them with the facts when they open this up for public consultation.

    My view is that the Disability Rights Commission should be reformed separately from the Equality Commission and that they should be given tough police powers of enforcement to deal with situations like this and be given powers to carry out dawn raids and go into organisations like the ones named without notice and seize all their documents and interview them. I will certainly be asking the Law Commission to recommend that.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @ABCDE   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    I do not know what to suggest. All I know you not alone with your problems and issues.

    There will be members of our community who can identify what you are going through be able to help and offer what they can..

    Have you spoken to your local MP?  They might be interested in supporting you.

    I am one of the team of community champions on the forum. We guide and advise new members who join the forum.

    Please get in touch if we can help with anything further.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Be honest. Try not to be aggressive. This is the best way to ensure you are listened to. Stay calm too. 
  • SteveESteveE Member Posts: 54 Courageous
    ABCDE said:
    I am having issues, many issues, including safeguarding issues with a care provider at the moment. The staff collude and do not meet the basic needs of the supported adult. In fact SS confirmed the evidence I had showed neglect. I was told to go and report the issues to the safeguarding team. 
    Do SS not do this? 
    The provider gives lip service....if you manage to get in touch. NOTHING is done. They don't contact you as promised and concerns raised are disregarded. You're perceived as the problem. No matter how hard I try requests to improve the service and meet basic needs are ignored. 
    If I change provider it's as though we're the problem. The original care provider is overjoyed by  busour continues departure. Doesn't address anything and it's business as usual. 
    @ABCDE Sorry you are having so many issues. It seems many of us do. Your mention of the "safeguarding team" made me realise I wasn't aware there was such a team. So thanks for that. I will now mention to social services that we will raise our issues with our local safeguarding team. Meantime, I hope your issues are resolved soon.

    Steve

  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    Sabrenut said:
    My view is that the Disability Rights Commission should be reformed separately from the Equality Commission and that they should be given tough police powers of enforcement to deal with situations like this and be given powers to carry out dawn raids and go into organisations like the ones named without notice and seize all their documents and interview them. I will certainly be asking the Law Commission to recommend that.
    That is certainly one view - but it runs contrary to the direction of legislation in recent years and arguably contrary to the belief of many disabled people in integration wherever possible. In 2010, the various disparate pieces of equality and discrimination legislation in civil law were combined into the Equality Act 2010, with many of the differences between the legislative frameworks surrounding each protected characteristic being eliminated. The 2010 Act made provision to outlaw 'dual discrimination', which is discrimination based on a combination of two or more protected characteristics such as East African Muslims or bisexual disabled people. However, the relevant legislative provision, section 14 of the 2010 Act, has never been commenced (legal jargon for 'brought into operation').

    The answer in relation to hate crime might be taking a similar approach with criminal law to the changes the Equality Act 2010 made in civil law - make criminal law treat all protected characteristics equally except when there is good reason not to do so.


    I don't see how concentrating disability enforcement powers on either a reformed Disability Rights Commission or the EHRC helps, and especially not the granting of police powers to a disability regulator (which would require officers with the appropriate training to be in place, but who would likely rarely be used). Moreover, such an approach risks confusing lines of accountability. At the moment, health providers are regulated by the CQC, which has a suite of enforcement powers associated with it and, when necessary, can engage the police to assist with their investigations. If your proposed change took place, non-disabled patients would complain to the CQC and disabled people don't know who to complain to - is it the DRC or the CQC? If there is a choice, then all regulators other than the DRC risk assuming that they don't need to consider disability in their operations because they believe that DRC deals with disability, whilst the DRC would need to have specialist knowledge about healthcare, education, employment, financial services and so on as the DRC would be duplicating the work of existing regulators such as the CQC, Ofqual and the Financial Conduct Authority. If there is no choice, then disabled people might need to complain to both regulators - the DRC about disability specific issues and the CQC about everything else. What happens with a disability related matter falls to be dealt with under human rights law rather than disability specific law? Such confusion seems counterproductive at best.

    Would it not be better to have disability taken seriously across the public sector and in the criminal justice system, not everyone other than a reformed DRC to have limited if any responsibility for disability matters?
  • SabrenutSabrenut Member Posts: 5 Listener
    :david235 - I agree that the aim is to have disability taken seriously across the public sector and the criminal justice system.


    It's highly unlikely that throwing more legislation at it is going to fix the problem. The FCA dealt with the financial crisis as an organisational cultural problem. They took a top down approach to culture. That model seems quite successful, so I'm proposing to follow that model.

    The Equality Commission has a cultural problem, so that needs to be addressed first. If you have a solution that works of how to fix culture where there are conflicting priorities, feel free to focus on a solution and put one forward. I really couldn't see that working due to conflict of interest.

    Once there's an organisation with it's own proper culture, it can then set about setting standards for culture at other public bodies, much like the FCA has in financial services. To be able to achieve that, they need tough enforcement powers as a deterrent.

    I'm confused by the objections you raise about matters falling under disability law and human rights law, the FCA, CQC; because if the Equality Commission's powers were simply transferred to a new body and simply given tougher powers for enforcement, how would that be any different to the current situation of having the Equality Commission and CQC and FCA?

    I'm not going to get my fingers burnt so I'm perfectly at ease with whatever they do. If this doesn't get addressed as a cultural problem, the chances of there not being some type of public scandal in the not too distant future are pretty slim.
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    Sabrenut said:
    I'm confused by the objections you raise about matters falling under disability law and human rights law, the FCA, CQC; because if the Equality Commission's powers were simply transferred to a new body and simply given tougher powers for enforcement, how would that be any different to the current situation of having the Equality Commission and CQC and FCA?
    You seem to be arguing for two different views of your reformed Disability Rights Commission. In your reply to me you seem to be arguing simply to break out disability from the existing EHRC. That still leaves the problem that many disability issues are resolved using human rights law (often but far from always Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights right for respect for private and family life in conjuction with the Article 14 ECHR right to non-discrimination in respect of Convention rights) rather than the Equality Act 2010. The European Court on Human Rights' factsheet "Persons with disabilities and the ECHR" gives an overview.

    However, in your earlier post you seemed to be arguing for a 'disability police force' almost. If there was a complaint against, say, a health provider then the lead regulator would be the CQC - and if they needed to raid the provider then the CQC would contact the police. The EHRC - or, in your model, the DRC - would likely have nothing to do with this situation. Yet, you were arguing for the DRC to have police powers to conduct a raid on the care company. That's where I get completely stuck with your proposal - who would be the regulator of healthcare as it pertains to disabled people?


    If there is a cultural problem with EHRC, it would seem easier to try to fix that 'in situ' rather than breaking up EHRC, which would require primary legislation to repeal and replace Part 1 of the Equality Act 2006 (which is about all of that Act that remains in force - most of it was repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010).
  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    david235 
    The problem is that the so called system is corrupt, only trying to hide the incompetence of those who bogusly claim to be supporting those of us who have various complex disabilities. Unfortunately the system is run by corrupt administrators only interested in following their political bosses needs, and not the needs of those who have a wide variety of disabilities.  
    So you could say that this is a politically based fraud against the disabled, with the corrupt manipulating the system 
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    @dolfrog - One of the things that was stressed to me when I was taught human rights law is that these are rarely 'attractive' cases. Any case involving a claim against the State for breach of human rights is almost guaranteed to involve a minority - and often a minority that might struggle to attract full understanding or support from the majority.

    I do not pretend for one minute that the current situation is good. Views will differ on the extent to which the current statutory bodies pay lip service to disabled people rather than making a genuine and deep contribution towards visible and invisible equality. Certainly I have some concern about EHRC - though I think that perhaps the biggest challenges EHRC faces are limited resources and, as you note, a lack of political will for the EHRC to take a more aggressive stance. To that end, I have grave doubts that the suggestion @Sabrenut puts forward will be anything more than repackaging what we have now, perhaps with even less joined up thinking than before. Even so, I respect his/her views.


    The bigger concern I have is that there is considerable political will at present to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and some are also targeting the Equality Act 2010. The narrative given is something along the lines of  "political correctness is ruining the country and we should stand for proud British values". The current law is fairly courageous and gives a fair degree of latitude for the courts to step in. There are grave issues with access to justice, especially after the 2012 Legal Aid cuts, but at least there is currently some hope of cases getting to the courts succeeding.

    If we lose the Human Rights Act 1998 and British membership of the European Convention on Human Rights in favour of a "British Bill of Rights", then we lose the accountability of being part of an international rights framework and all minorities have only the much weaker protection of the British courts finding against the State based on British law that Parliament can change unilaterally. Just losing the 1998 Act will result in inability to engage Convention rights in legal action against anyone other than the State (as this relies on section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998). If the Equality Act 2010 goes - and there are those that portray it falsely as unnecessary politically correct nonsense - then the underpinnings of pretty much all current legal precedents on disability rights fall.


    I cannot see much scope in the current political climate to strengthen protection for disabled people. My personal belief - and it is only that - is that the EHRC is not going to do that much to promote equality for disabled people, but I treat them as something of a sideshow. They are not the only way to get a case before the courts. The biggest challenge of the next few years is, perhaps, going to be holding on current human rights and equality laws.
  • ABCDEABCDE Member Posts: 5 Connected
    What are your experiences of advocacy? 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    ABCDE said:
    What are your experiences of advocacy? 
    I’ve advocated for my son on numerous occasions. Earlier this year I had to insist politely that the specialist check for a UTI because my son was clearly unwell. This was mid April. We were at the emergency room. 
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