DAA News Network

Charity calls disabled resident 'a git'.

Posted 16/2-09 at 14.08

A recent case has raised important questions about the accountability of residential managers to those who have entrusted their care to them.

A judgement by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) against Leonard Cheshire Disability has allowed a resident access to over 90 emails by Leonard Cheshire residential managers about him.

The emails included comments describing the resident as "a git". One manager suggested they stop a holiday the resident had booked by making false bureaucratic blocks because of the problems they felt he had caused them.

The ruling by the ICO followed a complaint by the resident after Leonard Cheshire Disability failed to allow him proper access to information about him.

A friend of the resident said, " I... have witnessed some of the frustration, distress and cost to his health that he has endured whilst continuing to politely request that his legitimate concerns regarding himself and others be addressed professionally. His refusal to be fobbed off with bureaucratic excuses lead to his being abused and marginalized in this shocking way."

The attitudes expressed by the residential managers in the emails is in stark contrast to the public image that Leonard Cheshire aims to portray, both on the website and through the recent Creature Comforts advertising campaigns.

In an article for The Guardian newspaper, Professor Peter Beresford writes, "people living in residential services can be in some of the most powerless and vulnerable situations imaginable to the rest of us, barring being in a conflict zone. They can be reliant on the respectful behaviour of others for help with intimate daily tasks, as well as to support them to do all the other purposeful and pleasurable activities of life." He challenges Leonard Cheshire to justify their claims to campaign for the human rights of disabled people and work for their empowerment. It is not known whether Leonard Cheshire Disability have taken any action against the Managers involved.

If you have would like to comment on any aspect of this story or have a similar story please add your comments below.

Read the full text of Professor Peter Beresford's article here http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/jan/19/residential-care-user


Comment added 26/2-09 at 11.07 by: Daniel Gane (morhamgane@talktalk.nete)

In his article Peter Beresford challenges the Leonard Cheshire group to a debate. Does anyone know if they responded?

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