I want my Son back Home
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Chris Duck, 25, achieved good GCSE exam results before being despatched to an Learning Disability unit when he became anxious over a move to Middlesbrough.
He has been given medication against the wishes of his parents that left him heavily sedated and his weight to crash, while he has also been subjected to seclusion in cell like conditions without even toilet paper and hand wash.
"His mother Kerry was ‘appalled’ after finding him ‘very dirty, drugged and depressed".
Kevin Healey National Autism Campiagner Said:
"Absolutely shocked seeing a young talented man playing and singing with his keyboard so soulful having watched the video of him singing, he looks content and happy & then his mother, explains to me how he's Drugged up and changed from the young man he used to be, how can our 21st Care system treat people with complex needs, he's been in these units for a very long time 7 years or so, what's the rest of his life going to be like, he shouldn't be in them, he needs to be in the Community, not locked away".
Chris went in services at 16, Social services made the service sound so good. He would socialize and get more Independant.
My condition was worsening and I was struggling. He heavley relied on me and without support we was struggling as a family. Chris has a sister who is 22 and a brother who is 18 also in a wheelchair.
Chris was doing really well and we had Chris close to home. The placement @ Huntercombe had to close suddenly. The commisioners moved him to Roseberry Park Middlesbrough against our and Chris's wishes. He did not want to go and its miles from home and family and what he knows. The journey could take upto 3hrs each way. I am disabled and I was struggling with the distance just to get a short visit with him.
They appeared to have no Idea how to deal with him and he started to deteriatevery quickly. He lost weight he went from 89kg to 53kg in just a couple of months. Chris appeared frightened and withdrawn he lost that spark.
Chris alleged that some of the staff were Intimidating, aggressive and made fun of him. The whole place was a stark concrete jungle and not homely. There was no conssistancy with staffing often saying short staffed. Chris has Scoliosis and Fibromyalgia and often said he was in pain but they did not follow the pain clinic recomendations.
Chris ended up heaverly medicated and we was told he was psycotic and this was quite normal with being Autistic. He had never suffered like this before.
Chris was bruised all over his body, safeguarding was involved by us they said it was the amount of restraints. He was dirty, unshaven and zombefied on medication. We honestly feared for his life. Months after of desperate cries for help the commisioners and Social Services outreach team we finealy got him near home.
This learning disability service took on our son. We new it was not a service that did Autism but we were desperate and they brought him there. They brought him back from the brink to a different lad, they previously had some staff that were well suited to his needs, but sadly things had detriorated due to lack of progress and very slow to move things on, staff changes and no consistancy.
Chris has been in and out of seclusion for months now for long periods of time. There was yet another change from only 6 on the unit to 12 within a couple of weeks. This made him distressed and with more people around and the noise he was staying more and more in his bedroom. This is due to the NHS closing a unit down and transfering some of the services users onto our son's unit.
This occasion he has been in seclusion for months Seclusion is herrendous cell like conditions with no toilet roll to hand (he finds it difficult to ask) this is also due to the fact he lost his speech when at the last placement. Having to keep repeating his requests simply he stops asking. No hand wash, towel, mattress on the floor. Food was served through a hatch and drinks in a plastic cup. The seclusion rules are a blanket, finger food. This caused a tummy upset with lack of hygenie. Seclusion rules do not allow proper cutlery and basicially nothing to occupy him.
Chris was very understimulated, very angry, was not doing any meaningfull activity's. He is in pain, feeling of not being in control and powerless.
Things changed slightly they opened the door of seclusion and they are calling this Long Term Segregation this is an extra room with a chair in where we sat speaking through the hatch. Chris got a plastic spoon so he have food that is no longer finger food. He still sleeps in serclusion with mattress on the floor but they are slowly giving him things like today bedding instead of seclusion blanket.
We had a nanagers meeting to renew his section on Friday 19th October. Chris attended and he did really well. He sat through it and went back with no problem. We spoke to the deputy manager after the meeting about Christophers needs. She promised he would get these. I spoke to Chris today to check he has got these Items, the In house Social worker phoned to say the unit will not talk to me. All comunication must be done through her. That consideration should be given to see If our son has PDA and PTSD. We have often thought he might have this due to abuse at his previous placement.
Chris has Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, Ingrowing toe nail and he has accidents of wetting the bed and has to have specially made Insoles for Chris to walk properly. When Chris we was having visits in the visitors room he was complaining of his toe. I had a look and was absolutly disgusted his 1 infected toe had gone to 3. The toes had congelled blood on them and was in pain. The staff help him bathe so why the hell have they not spotted this. A week passed before Antibiotics started. The GP stated to bathe his foot in salt water at least once a day, another week went by and I spoke to a nurse and she stated they needed a bowl for bathing. Chris also stated that he was wetting the bed and he had wet for 4 nights going around the wet patches on his bed. I bought the bowl and Incontinence sheets for his bed. I Informed the nurse and she assured me she would check and handled it very well. She is the only person that bathes his feet and Chris will strip his bed when she is on. This was when he was in his bedroom.
Chris has seen a podiatrist and he now needs 3 toe nails removed. This is neglect and he has been waiting on a pain clinic appointment since his admission and it's stated on his 1st CPA.
Chris is in a lot of pain and is stooping this is causng his mobility to be very bad. Chris complained of his toes on last visit and the bathing if his feet since being in serclusion. He is also wettng the mattress in serclusion.
Chris is a likeable young man, he is Intelligent, loving, well mannered, honest, great musician. He is not progressing there but we know he needs a lot of support and people around him who are trained and understandstand all his needs. To lessen or prevent the Incidents. This would mean the staff would need to get to know him and be able to avoid flash points.
Chris is missing out on life, sisters graduation, family birthdays, anniversarys, christmas and even contact with grandparents who have not seen him in years.
Christopher needs desperately a community placement staffed by fully trained and qualified staff that are willing to get to know him properly.
The LA and NHS Commisioners need to get their heads together and find the right homely setting near his home and be part of the family again. So he can have a fullfilling and happy life.
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