FitzRoy’s comment on hospital abuse uncovered by Panorama

23rd May 2019

Commenting on an undercover Panorama investigation in a hospital for adults with learning disabilities and autism,

FitzRoy Chief Executive Anna Galliford, said:

“Seeing the appalling and sickening abuse of the most vulnerable people in our society is heart-breaking. Our thoughts are with the victims who had to suffer such barbaric treatment, and their families who have had their trust catastrophically broken.

“Yet again our care system is letting down people with learning disabilities and the question remains why are these units still open? FitzRoy does not provide the type of hospital care seen in Panorama. We were set up by families nearly 60 years ago who wanted better support for their children than the institutionalised care available for people with learning disabilities, and today we continue to work in partnership with our families to achieve the best for their loved ones. Our founders had a vision for a better way of delivering care.

“People with learning disabilities are entitled to a good quality of life in a normal home environment in their communities, not to be shut away and de-humanised. This is what was proposed in the Transforming Care agenda, and the approach is working. But supporting people with complex and challenging behaviours requires staff with the values, skills and the drive to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Proper investment in training and development is essential.

“FitzRoy recruits people that are values-driven and see the person in everything they do. Our staff are highly trained in supporting people to live a life full of opportunity. However, as a sector we are facing a huge crisis in attracting the right staff. We need to place a much higher value on the profession of support and care workers, and the important work that they do. Long-term investment is needed to ensure no one with learning disabilities and autism experiences such horrific abuse again.”