Hayes & Harlington Gazette
Questions raised over quality of care at supported living home
WOMAN FEELS UNSAFE AFTER INCIDENT WHILE MUM HAS SKILLS CONCERN
“LIVING in this supported living home is like living in prison,” says Caroline Edwards, 36, a young woman with mobility issues and learning difficulties.
Caroline, who lives in Glenister Gardens in Hayes, Hillingdon, and has her own flat in a shared supported living facility with communal space, has said living there makes her feel “miserable”.
Glenister Gardens, run by Comfort Care Services, is a supported living service for adults with learning disabilities, helping them with everything from personal care to making meals.
Some of the people living there have complex needs and Caroline says this has resulted in her feeling unsafe, particularly on one occasion when she woke to find another resident naked in her bedroom at 2am.
One night during the Covid period, a terrified Caroline, who lives by herself, woke to find the man moving around her with no clothes on. He was one of the other residents in the complex and had made his way into her flat through a window.
Upon reaching for the emergency cord in her room, which is supposed to alert the carers in the facility that someone needs emergency support, Caroline claims nothing happened and nobody came.
Caroline, who wants to be moved somewhere more appropriate where she feels safer, told MyLondon: “I was in my bed, he must have opened the window, he didn’t have any clothes on. I thought ‘oh no, not good.’ I pulled the emergency cord but no answer, so I got my phone to ring up the carers and that must have woken them up. Then someone came and took him away.”
During the last inspection in 2017, the Care Quality Commission rated the supported living home as Good, adding in the report that “people were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible”.
However, Victoria Edwards, Caroline’s
mum, claims the incident during Covid is only a small part of the poor care that Caroline has received. Her main concern being that her daughter is being “de-skilled” by not being allowed to perform everyday tasks for herself, because she says carers
do not ask and instead do them for her. Victoria said: “Part of her individual care plan [is that] she has allocated hours from carers, all she needs is a kick up the backside because she’s able. “However, most of the people in the facility are not so able and so the carers tend to de-skill her by doing things she can do herself like putting on her washing.”
Victoria also mentioned an incident before Covid where Caroline was attacked on a Dial-A-Ride minibus – a free transport service for vulnerable adults – on the way back from a club.
She said: “The boy who attacked her scratched her face, broke her glasses and pulled her hair.
“The point isn’t the glasses, which Specsavers fixed, the point is that the young man had a carer with him and Caroline was still physically assaulted and they didn’t let the parent know.”
Victoria added: “After the break into her flat, they put restraints on Caroline’s windows. She can open her windows a little bit for fresh air but nobody can come in through the gap now. But I still think the care isn’t any better than what it was, and I think Caroline needs to be moved and have a fresh start.”
In a statement from Comfort Care Services, its chief executive Gee Bafhtiar, said: “We take the safety of the people we support very seriously. Accordingly, we have referred your enquiry to the London Borough of Hillingdon Adult Social Care team and will support them in their enquiries. In order to protect confidentiality we are unable to disclose information relating to specific individuals.”
However, Hillingdon Council told MyLondon that while commissioning the service in the borough, Comfort Care Services were the ones who should be contacted.
I was in my bed, he must have opened the window, he didn’t have any clothes on. I thought ‘oh no, not good’. Caroline Edwards