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January 2011



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 St Albans, Hertfordshire

St Albans, Hertfordshire

12:00pm Tuesday 31st August 2010

 By Alexandra Barham »

A MOTHER who claims her disabled son is being neglected by social workers is threatening to take her case to court.

Deborah Bulling claims Hertfordshire’s social services have failed to correctly deliver a care plan promised to her autistic son Daniel O’Connell, leaving him to fend for himself.

Daniel, 21, moved out of the family home in Harpenden last September to a warden assisted block of flats at Ellis House in St Albans, where he is supposed to receive help with basic household tasks, including cooking, cleaning and washing.

But Deborah claims Daniel’s care plan, which includes 25 hours of support a week at a cost of £25,000 a year to the taxpayer, has become virtually non existent.

She told the Review: “I have been over to see my son on a number of occasions to find his kitchen bin overloaded with stinking waste, the kitchen sink filled up with dirty dishes and cups from previous days, dirty laundary all left with wet washing still in the machine from days before and staff not supporting my son with his own care needs.”

Hertfordshire County Council pays contractors Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association to provide care packages for nine of its residents who live independently but require support.

But Deborah says there has only been one member of staff on duty for most of the time in any 24 hour period to support the vulnerable residents.

Deborah said: “When we agreed to Daniel moving in we were told there would be two to three members of staff from High Town to support. Each client needs breakfast and evening meal support which can take up to an hour. Staff are meant to help with all their care plan needs, which can consist of helping with washing, hoovering, cleaning, and food shopping.

“Since Daniel moved in we have had to make so many complaints regarding lack of care, neglect, and incompetence from staff.”

Deborah added: “Physically he’s neglecting himself. He’s become very withdrawn and he’s refused to go out of his flat on a number of occasions.

“The system has let Daniel down. I feel that he should move back home because he will be properly cared for but that wouldn’t be good for him. At the end of the day he needs to be independent.”

Read in Full:  http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/news/8362206.Harpenden_mother___Social_services_have_let_my_son_down_/

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