Charity 'appalled' at 230-mile move

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An autistic woman is to be moved from Swansea to a specialist unit in Brighton, reports suggest

First published in National News © by

Charity Mencap said today it was "appalled" by reports that an autistic woman is to be moved from Swansea to a specialist unit in Brighton.

Claire Dyer, 20, will have to move from the unit she has lived at since April 2012 after Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board's decision was upheld by a judge, according to the BBC.

Her family obtained an injunction blocking the move but it was overruled at a hearing today, the report said.

The court was told the board had proposed the transfer because staff cannot cope with Miss Dyer's "extremely challenging" behaviour and there was no suitable alternative in Wales, it added.

Catherine Dyer, of Gowerton, said she fully understands her daughter needs care, but believes Brighton is too far away and will make her daughter's behaviour worse.

She said: "We are heart-broken and devastated that my daughter is to be moved 230 miles away and this decision will just tear our family apart.

"We are totally against Claire being sent hundreds of miles away to Brighton, not just because of how far away it is from her family, but also because we do not believe that a medium secure hospital is suitable to meet her needs."

Mencap said it understood the case was at the High Court in London.

Wayne Crocker, director of Mencap Cymru, said in a statement: "Mencap is appalled by the decision today to allow Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board to send Claire Dyer to an assessment and treatment unit many hundreds of miles away from the family that loves and supports her.

"We want to see an end to the unacceptable culture of long-term placements in inpatient units, often hundreds of miles away from their homes, where people are at significant risk of abuse and neglect. This can cause huge distress, and there is no doubt that this is the case for Claire and her family.

"Governments - whether in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland - must be committed to providing quality support and services for people like Claire in their local community."

The health board said in a statement: "W e make every effort to arrange temporary placements as close as possible to the patient's home so their family is near. Unfortunately this is not always possible because the specialist facilities needed are not available locally.

"Patients with very complex individual conditions may need a specialist assessment, which for safety reasons often needs to be carried out in a secure environment.

"When an assessment is needed we always begin by contacting the specialist services closest to the patient's home. Unfortunately, on some occasions we are unable to find a service in Wales able to provide the highly specialist assessment, care and security needed.

"Should this happen, we then approach specialist services in England. We are very much aware of the distance this can place between a patient and their family.

"However, the assessment is critical and the placement is seen as temporary. We then plan for the patient to return closer to home as soon as possible."

Comments (6)

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8:21pm Fri 1 Aug 14

dippyhippy says...

This is dreadful.

I really feel for this family. It is so very hard having to make the decision to place your child into a residential placement, and now she is to be moved so far away, it's heartbreaking.

When will this government learn, that it is always in the best interests of the young person, to remain close to their families, where relationships can be maintained, and the care given, overseen?

This is cruel.
This is dreadful. I really feel for this family. It is so very hard having to make the decision to place your child into a residential placement, and now she is to be moved so far away, it's heartbreaking. When will this government learn, that it is always in the best interests of the young person, to remain close to their families, where relationships can be maintained, and the care given, overseen? This is cruel. dippyhippy
  • Score: 4

8:31pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Only The Mother says...

This is appalling. Claire was moved to Brighton before her family had chance to get back to Wales from the courts in London.

It is a disgrace that people are still being placed so far from home - this is how Winterbourne View came about !

Our hearts go out to Claire and her family. The way they have been treated is disgusting - those behind this move should hang their heads in the shame - as should those in the Brighton unit - they didn't have to accept Claire's placement there!
http://m.youtube.com
/watch?v=98tM3ZGrAuc
This is appalling. Claire was moved to Brighton before her family had chance to get back to Wales from the courts in London. It is a disgrace that people are still being placed so far from home - this is how Winterbourne View came about ! Our hearts go out to Claire and her family. The way they have been treated is disgusting - those behind this move should hang their heads in the shame - as should those in the Brighton unit - they didn't have to accept Claire's placement there! http://m.youtube.com /watch?v=98tM3ZGrAuc Only The Mother
  • Score: 5

9:03pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

If the patient and her parents are not happy with the treatment being provided they can always go private. That they choose not to do so means that they have chosen to leave responsibility for treatment in the hands of the state. The failure of the family to adequately plan for all eventualities means that the bill is now paid for by the state and treatment must be cost effective - to ensure that the greatest number of people can receive care. Better to treat two people at a distance than to only be able to treat one . Well done to the health board for delivering value for money for taxpayers and treatment.
If the patient and her parents are not happy with the treatment being provided they can always go private. That they choose not to do so means that they have chosen to leave responsibility for treatment in the hands of the state. The failure of the family to adequately plan for all eventualities means that the bill is now paid for by the state and treatment must be cost effective - to ensure that the greatest number of people can receive care. Better to treat two people at a distance than to only be able to treat one . Well done to the health board for delivering value for money for taxpayers and treatment. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -2

9:15pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Only The Mother says...

Voice of reality - you clearly don't understand the system! Claire has been forced away from her family - even if they had the money to go private this would be over ruled. Claire is entitled to the care she needs. The move to Brighton is clearly not the care she needs. I hope you never need any kid of care and so remain innocently and blissfully unaware of the evil acts that are perpetrated in the name of care! God bless you for your innocence .
Voice of reality - you clearly don't understand the system! Claire has been forced away from her family - even if they had the money to go private this would be over ruled. Claire is entitled to the care she needs. The move to Brighton is clearly not the care she needs. I hope you never need any kid of care and so remain innocently and blissfully unaware of the evil acts that are perpetrated in the name of care! God bless you for your innocence . Only The Mother
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Sat 2 Aug 14

PL County Durham says...

It's always cheaper for a charity to pick up on news items from media sources and join in the criticism than to offer solutions - Check Mencap accounts 2012-13 top earner 190-200,000 pounds. 9 executives over 100,000 per year. total salary and pension bill 150 million.
In this case they may have thought about providing a solution to this problem from their 34.6 million pounds of reserves. or they could just criticise the NHS.
It's always cheaper for a charity to pick up on news items from media sources and join in the criticism than to offer solutions - Check Mencap accounts 2012-13 top earner 190-200,000 pounds. 9 executives over 100,000 per year. total salary and pension bill 150 million. In this case they may have thought about providing a solution to this problem from their 34.6 million pounds of reserves. or they could just criticise the NHS. PL County Durham
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Only The Mother says...

I'm no great fan of the high salaries paid to charity directors. However, at least MENCAP are willing to speak out - unlike other organisations. MENCAP also campaign vociferously on all sorts of issues that face people with LD - check out their 'Death by indifference' report which highlighted some appallingly unnecessary deaths of people with LD within the NHS. Keep a stiff drink beside you as you read it! Sadly, after thirty years experience of the NHS I can honestly say that there are times when it needs criticising - Claire's situation is one of them! Oh - and the NHS managers are earning a lot more than the MENCAP. Guys! ;-)
I'm no great fan of the high salaries paid to charity directors. However, at least MENCAP are willing to speak out - unlike other organisations. MENCAP also campaign vociferously on all sorts of issues that face people with LD - check out their 'Death by indifference' report which highlighted some appallingly unnecessary deaths of people with LD within the NHS. Keep a stiff drink beside you as you read it! Sadly, after thirty years experience of the NHS I can honestly say that there are times when it needs criticising - Claire's situation is one of them! Oh - and the NHS managers are earning a lot more than the MENCAP. Guys! ;-) Only The Mother
  • Score: 0
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