MP slams 'reprehensible' Mendip House over abuse
MP James Heappey has spoken of his shock at the scale of abuse at
Brent Knoll's Mendip House care home after it was revealed in a
new safeguarding report.
Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here,
autistic residents were subjected to "cruel behaviour",
bullying and humiliation at the care home.
of controlling male staff" had dominated the home, the Safeguarding
Adults Review said. Staff were said to have made one man crawl on
all fours, threw cake at another and used residents' money to buy
report says the National Autistic Society was "primarily responsible
and accountable" for the mistreatment at the home.
James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I knew some of the
awful things that happened at Mendip House as I was asked to help
two of the residents at the time."
so, it is alarming to see the scale of abuse and Im glad that
the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board have been so robust in their
findings. What happened at Mendip House is reprehensible."
National Autism Society have accepted that what happened at Mendip
House was unacceptable but there are lessons that need to be learned
outside the NAS too."
of the residents at Mendip House were from outside Somerset and
it is clear that their parent local authorities did not do enough
to ensure that they were being cared for in the appropriate way."
are also questions about the appropriateness of large campus style
accommodations for some of the most vulnerable people in our society."
"Whilst I intend to discuss the lessons from Mendip House with
Ministers in Westminster, I have already spoken to Somerset County
Council to make sure that we are already doing as we should. I have
been reassured that only 50 of the 6,500 adults requiring support
in the county are accommodated outside Somerset."
majority of them are accommodated very nearby in Devon, Dorset or
North Somerset. I understand that around 20 are accommodated further
afield in the Midlands or South Wales. None of those adults have
been accommodated outside the county in the last two years, all
are checked on regularly by their Somerset social workers and the
county council is actively looking at options to bring people back
to Somerset if that is what they wish."
House is a shocking failure by the National Autism Society and the
local authorities who had sent vulnerable adults to be cared for
at the centre. Weve already put most of the lessons into action
here in Somerset but clearly its important that these lessons
are urgently learnt by other local authorities around the country
home closed down on 31st October 2016 - five months after whistleblowers
contacted the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and safeguarding teams.
Chandler, Director of Adult Services at Somerset County Council,
said: "We responded rapidly and robustly to these allegations,
coordinated the multi-organisational response, taking steps to ensure
the safety of residents in the other homes that made up Somerset
care supports some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
This will have been a traumatic experience for the residents at
Mendip House, their families and loved ones."
is imperative that everyone involved in the care system does everything
they can to make sure they are not put at risk of abuse."
David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Cases
like this are thankfully rare and these reviews are carried out
to reduce the chance of them happening in the future."
report makes important recommendations for change that would bring
more clarity on the responsibility for placing authorities to monitor
the care being provided to the people they place. I hope that the
care system well beyond Somerset will learn from the weaknesses
that this review has highlighted."