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Abuse of people with learning disabilities in the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust

Unacceptable care provided by PCT



The Healthcare Commission has carried out a review of Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust (PCT) and said that the care they provided was simply not acceptable.

The review of the care provided to people with learning disabilities at Orchard Hill Hospital, community homes in Suffolk and Merton and Osbourne House in Hastings was undertaken following a number of serious incidents of physical and sexual abuse.

In 2006 a member of staff at Orchard Hill Hospital was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a female resident who had a low mental age and therefore could not give consent.

The Healthcare Commission found that living conditions were impoverished and completely unsatisfactory. Other concerns highlighter were that the staff were not properly trained and care plans were only provided for a small minority of the residents. The review found one example of a resident with severe learning difficulties where it was recorded in her notes that staff need not have any training on communication because the resident was unable to talk.

Caroline Taylor, the Chief Executive of the PCT has said that the PCT took their "eye off the ball" and confirmed that they have now have in place new management and "won't fail out residents from now on".

The Healthcare Commission are now concerned regarding the level of care provided to people with learning disabilities within the NHS following the neglect in Cornwall care homes which was uncovered in 2006 and this current information. Anna Walker, Chief Executive of the Commission that they are ¦concerned about the quality of care for people with learning disabilities throughout England.



If you or someone you know has been under the care of the PCT and suffered abuse please contact Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. We have a team of specialised lawyers who will be willing to listen to you and advise you of your rights.

Any enquiry will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and initial advice will be free of charge.