CALL TO ACTION: MENDIP HOUSE RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME ABUSE SCANDAL
- CALL TO ACTION: MENDIP HOUSE RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME ABUSE SCANDAL
- Treating Autism statement re Mendip House scandal, NAS-run care home for adults with severe autism
- Identifying health problems in autism 1 December, London. CPD educational event for parents and professionals.
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Dear friends and members,
You are probably by now familiar with the latest UK residential care home scandal that has come to light over the last few days.
The cruel and degrading treatment of vulnerable people with autism at the Mendip House is all the more shocking because the care home was run by the National Autistic Society (NAS), the biggest UK autism charity with an annual income of nearly 100 million pounds*. NAS runs many similar homes and special schools and these places represent a large part of its income.
As reported by the media, NAS has been accused of covering up a care home scandal likened to Winterbourne View “without the cameras”.
“The report, by the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board noted that the NAS conducted internal investigations and had plenty of evidence of “degradation” but had failed to report its own staff to the local council or the Care Quality Commission.”
“The staff at Mendip House engaged in behaviour that was cruel, far below the standard expected and…contrary to the NAS’ organisational purpose and values,” the review found.
“The NAS’s own records revealed that critical information about Somerset Court (the NAS complex incorporating Mendip House), including poor staff conduct, alleged assaults and drug use or sale, was not shared beyond senior managers who took no action.”
Mendip House was eventually closed in 2016 after an anonymous tip off triggered an investigation.
Treating Autism has issued an official statement concerning the findings.
CALL TO ACTION
We urge you to write your MP to express your concern about these events. Find your MP’s email address HERE.
- Barry Sheerman MP Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield, Chair of Westminster Autism Commission
- Cheryl Gillan MP Chesham and Amersham, Chair of the APPGA
- Steve Brine MP, Conservative MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford,
- Annette Brooke MP Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole
- Steve McCabe MP Labour, Birmingham
- Tim Loughton MP Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham
- Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde
- Charlotte Leslie MP, Conservative MP for Bristol North West
- Russell Brown, MP Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway
- Robert Flello MP, Labour MP for Stoke on Trent South
Please take this chance to make your voice and concerns heard. We must protect our children and provide them the best future.
When writing to your representative feel free to use some of the talking points below, but remember it is best to personalize your letter. The more you focus on your personal feelings, concerns, and experiences in regards to this scandal, the more likely that your MP will act on your behalf.
- Over the past thirty years there has been an enormous increase in the number of people diagnosed with autism, which means that adult services will come under even greater pressure as time goes on.
- The humanitarian and emotional cost of autism is impossible to calculate. The financial cost of autism to the UK economy is an estimated £32 billion annually*. Most of that money goes towards the residential care of severely affected adults, who are often forced to live in residential care settings far away from home and against the wishes of their parents.
- The ‘social model of disability’ espoused by the National Autistic Society (the charity that ran Mendip House) and several other taxpayer-funded organisations, has repeatedly failed our vulnerable people, with horrific stories of institutionalised abuse surfacing with sickening regularity. If a care home run by the leading UK autism charity can fail the people in its care so dismally, what does that say about the security and long-term future of anyone with autism who is unable to live independently?
- There is a growing body of evidence to show that many of the symptoms commonly associated with autism may be caused by various underlying or comorbid medical conditions. Too often, many of these medical conditions remain unrecognized and untreated, partly because of difficulties in diagnosing people who are nonverbal or who may express pain and discomfort in an atypical way, but partly because of the widespread refusal to acknowledge solid research showing that people with autism are far more often medically ill than their non-autism peers and the resultant diagnostic overshadowing. Who knows how many families have taken the agonising decision to place their child into residential care such as Mendip House due to behaviours which may have been caused by treatable medical conditions?