Wednesday 18 July 2012

Delyth Jenkins - A Gap in the System

Regular readers will remember Delyth Jenkins, the whistle blower who, after a lengthy battle with Carmarthenshire Council, exposed abuse in a council run day centre for vulnerable adults in Carmarthen. The damning ombudsman reports which followed, in 2009, were the subject of a recent article in Private Eye and the S4C programme, Taro 9. The ombudsman had said that if her initial allegations had been dealt with properly, then subsequent abuse might not have happened. Not only Carmarthenshire Council (no surprise there) but also the Welsh government have consistently declined to comment.

Yesterday's Western Mail continues with the story as Delyth has identified a glaring gap in the inspection system. The 'remit' of the Care and Social Services Inspectorate (CSSIW) currently covers childrens' day centres and adult residential homes but, for some reason, day centres for vulnerable adults, many of whom cannot communicate, are excluded. It is clearly, as a matter of common sense, a glaring omission in a system where independent inspections could possibly identify problems at an early stage. Whether or not the CSSIW is effective is another matter and subject to some debate but it's all there is and Delyth, who is determined to see this loophole closed, has appealed to the Welsh Government to widen their remit. One would have thought that this would be a straightforward and urgent matter but instead we have a depressingly familiar paragraph of waffle from a government spokesperson. Here's the first paragraph; "The need for informed planning, procurement and review of all social care services was set out in comprehensive statutory guidance on commissioning issued to all Welsh local Authorities in Wales in August 2010....." it goes on (and on) to say that a White Paper, available for consultation will be issued by the summer of 2013....

So meanwhile, in the real world, day centres for vulnerable adults such as 'Sally' continue to avoid independent scrutiny and it is left to the occassional brave whistleblower such as Delyth to wade through the tortuous network of a complaints system and battle against local authorities whose primary guidance would seem to be the avoidance of bad publicity.


Anonymous said...

I take my hat off to this very courageous lady!!! Anyone who ignores any kind of abuse towards a vulnerable child or adult should hang their heads in shame.

I agree with Peter Tyndall (Ombudsman)the authority are guilty of "catastrophic" failures in its handling of the case and treatment of Mrs Jenkins. Delyth should have been supported and promoted!

Anonymous said...

Delyth Jenkins is a true heroine and vulnerable people's champion.