Trafford asked to apologise for poor resettlement care

Health and social services authorities in Trafford should
collectively apologise to a group of people with learning
difficulties for providing community care arrangements no better
than the poorest long-stay hospital, an independent review said
last week.

Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, Salford and Trafford Health
Authority and Trafford Council accepted the findings of the

The review investigated the quality of care provided to 34
people who were resettled into three houses in the community from
long-stay institutions between 1995 and 1999.

In September 1999, the health authority and council decided to
transfer the supported living service provided by the trust to
another provider because of serious concerns about the quality of
service and its management.

The review outlines how a service once lauded as pioneering and
cutting edge, through a combination of events and pressures,
deteriorated badly.

Since 1995, there have been reports of shabby buildings with
broken furniture; “curious rules”, including residents not allowed
biscuits, and an “almost coercive approach to household chores”.
Family carers were given no adequate explanations for physical
injuries on relatives, and felt that visits and phone calls were
discouraged. The service was described as no better than one of the
poorest long-stay hospitals.

The way the decision was taken to transfer services from the
trust was criticised for traumatising many people and creating
massive uncertainty.

Among 13 recommendations, the report calls for proper supported
living opportunities to be developed and for residents to be exempt
from paying arrears of service charges levied retrospectively by
the trust.

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