Sep 132014
 

DPAC has removed our most recent piece on Anthony Kletzander from our website due to a ‘cease and desist’ letter from solicitors representing Nua Healthcare threatening legal action against us for raising awareness of the case. DPAC have published pieces on Anthony and his situation since late 2013. We firmly believe that Anthony’s desire for independent living, instead of institutionalisation should be upheld, as per Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We also believe that we have a duty to raise public awareness on Anthony’s experiences.

We will continue to campaign and to support Anthony, his parents: Linda and Sigi and his chosen advocate Joe Whittaker in any way we can. Anthony’s parents Linda and Sigi kindly agreed to an interview from their home in Ireland. We are grateful for their time and honesty.

Interview
As you may know supportive web sites and grass root disability groups in the UK and Europe received a solicitors ‘cease and desist’ letter regarding talking about Anthony’s circumstances, we can not talk about that specifically, but as Anthony’s parents and his legal guardians-what are your thoughts on:
 
a) the suggestion of the protection Anthony’s ‘confidentially’ :what has Anthony said to you on this, what is it that he wants to say about his circumstances? And as his parents what is it you would like to say?

Anthony repeatedly asks us to get him out of Nua and that he wants independent living in his own home near to his family. We fully support Anthony and take our lead from Anthony. He wants us to do whatever is necessary to help him to get back to independent living

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b) We understand that Anthony’s chosen means of communication has been denied, can you tell us a bit about that?
Despite the fact that Nua were given Speech and Language reports from two Health Service Executive (HSE ) Senior Speech and Language Therapists, Speech and Language report from Central Remedial Clinic Speech Therapist and Marion Stanton communication expert in U.K no staff at Nua are trained up in his communication  Marion offered to come to Ireland (in March 2014) to train Nua staff, but Nua did not invite her over in fact Noel Dunne said on the phone that they would get their own experts.

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2.Anthony lived in his own flat with his own personal assistants for almost 3 years – why do you think it is proving so difficult for Anthony to exercise his right to independent living by living in a place of his own choosing now?
 

Having had independent living from 2010-2012 with Cheshire Ireland where Cheshire took a back seat, we recruited Anthony’s staff with Anthony, put together a schedule which Anthony helped in planning and we negotiated with Dublin City University (DCU) and Anthony attended DCU lectures which is something he always wanted to do. In 2013 Anthony service was given over to Áiseanna Tacaíochta Network (ATN) by HSE with no meaningful negotiations with Anthony or us, no explanation was given. Martin Naughton the Director of ATN carried out the negotiations with Geraldine Murphy HSE Disability Manager. Martin then imposed his staff on Anthony, none of which believed in Anthony’s communication and Anthony’s whole quality of life suffered a great deal under the service of ATN. Martin tried to dictate visiting hours for Anthony, restricted his movement. Basically we had to go to Anthony’s home every evening to take Anthony out as he was effectively under virtual house arrest. Martin also applied to the Dept of Social Protection to have Anthony’s personal disability allowance payment paid into the ATN company. Following Martin’s email we contacted the department objecting and it took about a year to sort out the stoppage of Anthony’s payment due to ATN’s actions.

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3.What does Anthony say to people fighting the campaign to get him independent living?

Anthony continues to ask us to keep the campaign going. He also appeals to us to ask Nua to stop the forced medication on him. Anthony has know Joe (Whittaker) for about 11 years and always asks us to ask Joe to continue the campaign for him.  We always reassure Anthony that Joe and we his parents are continually campaigning and won’t stop until Anthony is released to Independent living. We need to keep repeating this to Anthony to try to help him to survive his time with the Nua institution

4 What efforts have HSE made to discuss Anthony’s wishes for independent living with you and Anthony?
 
Possibilities Plus offered HSE their service to provide Independent Living. Geraldine Murphy has told them that as far as she is concerned the Nua arrangement is permanent.  We continue to write to Sheila Marshall the other Disability Manager involved.

5.Who do you recognise outside the family as closest to Anthony and who has Anthony chosen as an advocate?
Anthony chose Joe Whittaker as his advocate and we keep Anthony informed about the campaign. We Anthony’s parents feel encouraged and very appreciative of Joe’s on going support. We are all grateful that many more people know what is going on and we really appreciate all the support that Anthony is being given by growing numbers of people.

6.Prior to Anthony being institutionalised did Anthony have a history of hospitalisation

No, prior to ATN taking over the management of Anthony service, Anthony was on a strict gluten and dairy free diet. He was not given ANY medication but took natural supplements. When ATN took over Anthony’s service ATN stopped Anthony’s special diet against the advice of the family doctor claiming that they found him to be “often hungry”. This caused Anthony pain and subsequently contributed to his virtual “house arrest”.

7.When did forced medication start for Anthony

Anthony was medication free when he entered Redwood ( a prior institution). However three days after he entered Redwood we got a phone call confirming that Anthony’s crucial special gluten and dairy free diet was not being adhered to by Redwood and that they were giving him medication.

8.Did Anthony have a history of being hospitalised prior to being institutionalised

No. Despite the fact that we gave Redwood Anthony’s GP letter and met with Management when we were told that Anthony was been given medication and that his diet was not adhered to. Anthony was hospitalised by emergency ambulance with seizures for the first time in his life. Tests showed no epilepsy.

9.Did Nua continue with the drugs regime

When Anthony started in Nua he was not drugged according to our information. However in March 2014 Anthony was admitted to hospital by emergency ambulance. Since Anthony started in Nua he has been admitted twice to hospital by emergency ambulance and continues to be medicated.

10.Did Nua give you the list of Anthony’s medication

No despite the fact that we repeatedly asked Nua for the list of Anthony’s medication they refused to give it to us. We finally got the list of medication when our solicitor requested the medication list from HSE when Sheila Marshall, Disability Manager issued the medication to our solicitor so we then had access to this crucial information.

11.How does Anthony spend his weekdays

When Anthony started at Nua we attended a conference explained the significance of training for staff of Anthony’s communication. We also told everyone who attended the meeting from HSE and Nua that Anthony hates farms.  He attends the Nua farm daily where we recently witnessed Anthony shovelling manure into a wheelbarrow in a highly distressed state and being told “good boy keep going”. Anthony is a 26 year old man not a “boy”.

photo anthony

12.How did Anthony appear on your recent visit to him on the Nua farm

When we drove into the car park we could hear Anthony’s anguished sounds and rushed to find him. We were shocked to see him shovelling manure into a heaped wheelbarrow. Anthony’s anguished sounds increased significantly whilst bringing the heaped wheelbarrow down the very steep hill to the lower Nua gardens. We emailed Nua voicing our concerns but received a registered letter from Nua yesterday informing us that Anthony has been returned to the farm as of 8 September 2014 so we continue to worry significantly about Anthony’s health and safety in Nua.

13. What would you say to parents/people in a similar situation to that of Anthony?

We would say never give up. Everyone is entitled to be listened to, no one’s basic human rights should be abused. We would encourage people to speak up if they can.

14.What would you and Anthony say to the people supporting Anthony?
Anthony is continually thanking people for their support which he needs to stay strong. Anthony is particularly grateful to his and our friend Joe Whittaker

Video of Anthony typing thank you to supporters

Sign the Petition to stop this here

If you can help please contact Anthony’s chosen advocate Joe: whittakerjoe5@gmail.com

Abbreviations

ATN Áiseanna Tacaíochta Network
DCU Dublin City University
DPAC Disabled People against Cuts
HSE Health Service Executive: responsible for the provision of healthcare providing health and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland, with public funds.

 

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  21 Responses to “DPAC threatened with legal action 4 supporting #AnthonyKletzander: parents interview”

  1. Okay, lets try once more …

    Who is Anthony’s MP?

  2. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable or legally qualified to offer an opinion or advice on improving Anthony’s situation or the anguish suffered by his family. I like others can only ask what is the MP on behalf of Anthony & his family doing about the inhumanity of this disabled person. Who is his MP ?

  3. There has been an incredible silence in Ireland in relation to the abuse of Anthony Kletzander in a Nua Health Care . The political representatives and senior managers from the Health Service Executive refuse to comment. The silence has continued, almost conspiratorial like, in its consistency, despite the details of Anthony’s abuse being presented to the key people in these organisations, and an unwillingness respond to allegations of such abuse.

    It is interesting to note that Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice is married to Prof Michael Fitzgerald who is part of the Nua Health Care Clinical team.

    In the vacuum left from silence from Nua and HSE people engaged in the campaign to support Anthony’s will ask the question, why is there such a collective silence and refusal to listen to Anthony’s voice?

  4. Where is Anthony’s MP, consultant and clinical psychologist to advise of the damage this is creating?

  5. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2009/99/regulation/3/made

    Please use this website and get proceedings going

    It is horrific what they are putting that young gentlemen through.

    My thoughts and wishes go out to you

    especially to Anthony

  6. I would really like to know A, Who Anthony’s local MP is and B, What he/she is doing about his case??
    Being that next year is an election year, I think people should at the very least be emailing his MP raising the awareness on his behalf and demanding answers.
    I belive if enough people do this, it may well be beneficial for Anthony…

  7. Greedy NUA, only concerned about their £200,000-£300,000. I admire you all, DPAC, parents and supporters/ advocate. I am a parent of younger child with autism and our parental view hasn’t counted for anything so twice legal battle has ensured proper support is in place and our view is taken into account. I am concerned about the future for my son since reading getting to know about this. Why the family and Anthony’s view count for anything? If he wants out then, it’s his and his parents right to do so. DPAC please continue your good work and family, please don’t give up. Parents like you challenging these bullies can pave the way for other parents as well. I wandered if the family has an account set up so we can crowd fund. There shouldn’t be financial problem to stop the family from going all the way.

  8. I have not been aware of any of this, but clearly this kind of behavior by NUA cannot be allowed to continue. I have just looked at Nua website and I see they are mainly based in Ireland, but do have services in the UK, I have just copied this piece from their UK website “Care with Dignity. At Nua Healthcare our trained and qualified care and support staff can compassionately assist you with your personal care needs. You will find that they are very understanding and will put your preferences ahead of anything else. They will respect your dignity at all times ensuring you feel comfortable with all aspects of the support they give”. Clearly, this is NOT true in Anthony’s case.
    Sadly, there is alot of this kind of treatment going on all over the UK and the UK Government is not doing anything to stop it from happening. My guess is this treat of legal action against DPAC is just a bag of wind made to frighten people, something that bullyboys do to make themseves look big. I would suggest DPAC take legal advice and counter action the treat by DPAC standing their ground.

    • Agree completely. They should change their website to say don’t give a monkey about the service user or parental view. Our children are just£££££ in the bank. We parents will support you DPAC. Don’t be at all afraid of solicitor letter. I’m happy to donate to you for your good work.

  9. DPAC is the VOICE of active struggle WITH disabled people! They are to be congratulated for finding creative ways around the bullying tactics of Nua Institution and actively supporting the campaign.

    Anthony Kletzander highlights the growing confidence of private residential institutions seeking to grab as much money as they can from the public purse regardless of the Rights of Disabled People. They are now growing in size in the UK as well as Ireland. This issue is not about the welfare or concern of Anthony’s Rights it is about power and financial greed of Private companies.

    The three substantive claims : Anthony is given anti-psychotic medication against his wishes. His communication and voice is denied. He wants Independent living, which he once had, which is being denied by HSE.

    I have invited Nua solicitors to address those three issues : so far they have declined.

    Nua Institution continue to have Autism Accreditation from The National Autistic Society ( UK) The NAS are fully aware of the above claims but say they cannot intervene because it is another jurisdiction ! Yet they continue to give status and authority with accreditation to Nua both in Ireland and UK.

    The family have made their political representatives fully aware of the situation but they appear unwilling to critically question the evidence. It is clearly not on their political agenda – yet!

    Please support Anthony and any individual struggling for independence from these institutions. Although Nua and Redwood decline to give information related to costs, it is suggested HSE are paying these institutions about €1000 per day per person . Just imagine what a disabled person could do for independent living for that amount of money – let’s do it HSE!

  10. THE PRIVATISATION OF CARE HAS MUCH TO ANSWER FOR. It used to be that people worked in care because they wanted to serve the public, but now it is all target driven and ethical considerations and human decency do not seem to figure anywhere in the process. I am appalled that Anthony’s views are not being taken into account, What is happening is such bad practice. There should be a holistic approach, with those who know him best having their views heard. The new SEND approach to education, care and health plans for disabled young people are being implemented here to stop the views of the young person and those who know a young person best being sidelined and any one profession taking unilateral action .Were a personal -centred plan outlining what is known about how he prefers to be treated, what helps him to make progress, his positive qualities, what he needs to have in place to overcome difficulites etc, his plan would, no doubt, look very different from what seems to be house arrest and slave labour on a farm, which, if he has strong sensory issues in respect of farms, dirt, smells etc, is horribly abusive.

    What is the famiy’s political representative doing to challenge these abuses?

  11. Good on you DPAC for raising the awareness of Anthony’s case, typical threats to those who stand up for our human rights, together we must continue to fight the human rights abuses against the sick, disabled and mentally ill. Government must ultimately be held responsible and accountable for the atrocities it continues to inflict on the UK’s vulnerable, and yes I signed the petition for Anthony.

  12. added to reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom

  13. DPAC……don’t give up on this family…this health care trust must regard you as a threat….don’t let them grind you down and let me know if i can help….regards sandra.

  14. I had a ‘cease and desist’ a few years ago – a thief had charged my card because she found my details on a piece of paper for an ISP account that the firm she had bought hadn’t supplied…. She knew exactly what she had done.

    Cease and desist letters mean that the company instructing the solicitor has the money to pay for the letter.

    Slander and Libel suceed or fail on three points – That what is being said/written is untrue. That the person(s) concerned knew, or reasonably should have known, that the facts were untrue at the time statements were made. That damage has been done and is assessable in financial terms.

    Who can forget the one penny damages for loss of reputation gained by an historic celebrity?

    Publish and be damned.

    • Excellent advice- that is the direction taken by DOAC.

      • This is a heartbreaking story and account of a young man denied his basic human right to have his voice heard. keep strong Anthony Linda and joe eventually you will be listened to.

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