The exposure of physical and emotional abuse by staff against disabled people at Aras Attracta, a residential institution, was secretly filmed by RTE in the Republic of Ireland, there was a public outcry. A similar Panorama programme in the UK, over three years ago where abuse of disabled people by staff at Winterbourne View Institution was also secretly filmed.
Both were truly horrible programmes to watch and reflected very badly on residential “Care” in both UK and Ireland. I suspect they are not the only Countries where institutional abuse happens. The general public in Ireland and UK were collectively stunned and outraged at what they had witnessed on public television.
It is however, a truism for the growing number of advocates of Independent Living that ” residential settings” for disabled people is inherently flawed and do not “care” about the individuals within them. Governments around the globe, publicly encourage, well supported Independent living, which is the preference for increasing numbers of disabled people, their families and the society in which they live, as a valued approach for disabled people to make their contributions to their communities.
The letter from Nua Healthcare.
The letter below was sent to families of people resident in Nua Healthcare by The Chief Operating Manager, Mr Noel Dunne, seeking to reassure people, after that dreadful abuse was exposed on RTE , that all was wonderful and carefully monitored in Nua Healthcare Institution.
Nua Healthcare do not call their Residences, “institutions ” they prefer to use the term ” Low Density Housing” The website brochure for Nua Healthcare appears like an All Inclusive Holiday in some exotic location.
It is important for all the supporters of Anthony Kletzander, that the reassurances from Noel Dunne at Nua Healthcare institution are littered with hypocrisy and untruths. Mr Dunne, rightly condemns the abuse seen by millions on TV he is however, rather economical with the truth when it comes to Anthony Kletzander, institutionalised in Nua Healthcare since December 2013.
The letter below from Noel Dunne,Chief Operations Manager for Nua Healthcare is copied below. The comments in bold italics are from Joe Whittaker friend and advocate of Anthony Kletzander.
I believe that if a person uses social media to expose injustice, the person exposing that injustice has to take responsibility for their actions. This is why I have give my home contact details to the solicitors of Nua Healthcare Institution, when they threatened me with legal action several months ago. I again invite them to do so if they believe I have written any untruths, I have made, about the treatment of Anthony Kletzander in Nua Healthcare Institution.
Date of letter 18 Dec 2014
Re: RTE Prime Time, 9th December 2014 – Aras Attracta
Dear Mr and Mrs ,
Further to a recent RTE Primetime television programme which reported on sustained abuse towards the residents of Aras Attracta, a HSE facility in Swinford, Co Mayo, I wish to outline the following facts and reassure you of our good name and reputation as an agency synonymous with quality person-centred services.
Anthony Kletzander is incarcerated in Nua Healthcare, his parents were told directly by Mr Noel Dunne, when Anthony was admitted after institutional abuse at Redwood,Starmullen, on 19th December 2012.
” if you report any issue to the press about Nua , Anthony is out of here”
( comments from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Based on my knowledge of our service and further supported by my ongoing house visits and meetings with frontline staff, it is my firm belief that Nua Healthcare continues to deliver the highest quality of service within each of our registered houses.
Anthony was admitted to emergency hospital on two occasions, from Nua Institution, following antipsychotic medication and “poor care” Both these emergency admissions, were never explained or discussed with the parents of Anthony.
The antipsychotic medication was against Anthony’s wishes, and the express wishes of his parents. Mr Noel Dunne ignored the express concerns of Anthony and his parents.
Anthony’s parents had informed Mr Dunne of the dangers for Anthony subject to certain drugs. It was deeply disturbing for the family that they were refused access to the medication given to Anthony by Nua senior Staff. Mr and Mrs Kletzander had to serve a solicitors letter, to Nua to get the list of the medicine and dosage administered to Anthony.
(from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s The friend and advocate)
Most recently, Nua Healthcare underwent an intermediate review of its autism services. This review was conducted independently through the National Autistic Society, who subsequently reported sustained good practices within our services.
The National Autistic Society (UK) accepted sponsorship from Nua Institution for The Professional Autism Awards in 2014. After, concerns in relation to Anthony Kletzander, The National Autistic Society (UK) ended the sponsorship from The National Autistic Society for the 2015 Professional Autism Awards. (Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Throughout 2014, we also facilitated inspection across the majority of our registered disability houses by HIQUA, the authority responsible for driving quality, safety and accountability in residential services for children, older people and people with disabilities in Ireland. As a matter of public record, we demonstrated that our services are delivered to the highest standards.
The inspections carried out in Nua Healthcare Institutions in UK by The Care Quality Commission, a National inspection body, Mr Noel Dunne is the named person responsible for provision. This provision failed to maintain standards in important areas.(from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Full report available on Google : Care Quality Commission UK. Search for Nua Healthcare UK.
As I watched the RTE Primetime report my own immediate reaction was to feel disgust, sadness and shame. I could not believe people who had been placed in a position of trust for another’s safety and well-being could break that trust in this most appalling and disrespectful way.
Mr Noel Dunne, ‘People in Glass Houses should not throw stones’ (from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Anthony’s friends, who made a specific and a first visit from Holland, to see Anthony, were not allowed on Nua Healthcare premises. They were not allowed to see Anthony’s room at Nua. They were told only next of kin were allowed on Nua Institution premises. Such are the concerns expressed to Anthony by Mr Dunne.
(from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Although I am confident in our services and each of the staff within it, I assure you that we will not become complacent.
Anthony’s advocate and supporters will never be complacent about the abuse Anthony experiences at Nua Healthcare Institution. (From Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
We will maintain zero tolerance of abuse in any of its forms and we will never forget our responsibilities to the men, women and children who avail of our service and for whom we are most privileged to support and care for.
Mr Noel Dunne
1. Why does Nua give Anthony drugs against his wishes?
2. Why do you ignore and deny Anthony’s means of Communication?
3. Why did you force Anthony to work on Nua Farm UNPAID, which he hates?
4. Why do you refuse to support Anthony’s right to live independently?
Should you wish to discuss any concerns, please contact any member of our senior management team. Finally, should you wish to visit our services and or discuss any aspect of it, please feel free to make that request and we will certainly facilitate it.
We invite Mr Noel Dunne to publicly debate with Anthony and his supporters about residential Abuse in all its forms at Nua Healthcare Institution ? (from Joe Whittaker Anthony’s friend and advocate)
Thanks you for your continued commitment to our service and for trusting us to provide services for you family member.
Noel Dunne (signed)
Chief Operating Officer
This article will appear on National and International blogs that support the rights of disabled people to live independently, free from Institutional care.
friend and advocate for Anthony Kletzander.