Demand for rethink on abuse inquiries

A charity is urging the Healthcare Commission to review how it
investigates abuse allegations made by people with learning

Values into Action made the call after criticising the commission’s
treatment of complaints about standards at Fieldhead long-stay
hospital, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The commission found no serious concerns about the hospital’s care
of service users in its preliminary review published last year and
its six-month responsive review published this year.

But charity director Jean Collins insisted there was a “lack of
appreciation and understanding of the particular challenges that
face people with learning difficulties, especially in regards to
the individuals’ reporting of abuse”.

Eliciting information from such clients about potential abuse could
be difficult, she said, and the commission should consider
different ways to communicate with them.

The commission recognised how important it was “to get things right
when working with this vulnerable client group”, according to a

It has appointed Fiona Ritchie as learning difficulties adviser,
the spokesperson added, but emphasised that this was unrelated to
the Fieldhead review.

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