Concerns ignored at Sutton and Merton

Managers at all levels of Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust ignored concerns about the treatment of people with learning  difficulties, even though serious abuse was highlighted three years ago, MPs and peers heard this week.

An all-party parliamentary committee, organised by learning difficulties charity Voice UK, heard advocates were dismissed as naive when they complained that staff did not log incidents of physical abuse by residents because they were considered “inevitable”.

A Healthcare Commission report last month identified “institutional abuse” at Orchard Hill and 11 campus homesrun by the PCT.

Jonathan Senker, chief executive of Advocacy Partners, said: “A former director of services at the PCT said if we continued raising concerns, he would have to consider banning us from the site.”

He said advocates had raised concerns about Orchard Hill for years, but added that he welcomed the “more enlightened approach” of the PCT’s new management.

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