Content Warning: this article discusses depictions of torture and abuse.
To all of you who read this:
It doesn’t matter whether you are autistic or not, whether you’re an ally or an advocate, whether you consider autism a disability or a difference, whatever language you may use to talk about autism or autistic people.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re affiliated to an organisation or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, carer, aunt, uncle, cousin or other relative of an autistic person. It doesn’t matter whether the closest autistic person you know is a classmate, a teacher, or a neighbour. It doesn’t even matter if the closest you’ve come to an autistic person is seeing Anne Hegerty on The Chase.
To any healthcare worker, professional, or commissioner who is as appalled as we are that their profession is benchmarked by the CQC’s ruling – a ruling that says it’s acceptable to abuse vulnerable adults in your care.
To anyone who abhors this ruling that downplays the atrocities that occurred in Mendip House, a ruling that says that a few thousand pounds can absolve the trauma faced by the most vulnerable.
To anyone who is disgusted by the idea that when you’re caught abusing vulnerable people – if indeed you are – you can avoid the worst of the charges brought against you by paying a paltry sum for the least of these charges while claiming sympathy for victims and promising change, time and time again.
To anyone over the age of eighteen, with a shred of human decency, this post is for you.
So many of us wish for the organisations responsible for permitting and covering up this abuse to be held accountable, and to ensure this is done we need to ensure our anger is directed to the right places. The actions performed by Mendip House are atrocious – the fact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has all but absolved their acts is an unforgivable betrayal.
Whilst physical direct action and targeted protests will help focus the media and public’s attention toward this travesty, and whilst social media is a fantastic tool for organising our actions, it will be just as effective to focus the CQC’s attention on our actions by providing a torrent of formal complaints concerning their actions regarding the abuses suffered by the vulnerable residents of Mendip House.
As the CQC seems to believe it will shelter in silence during this storm, as no-one ‘who matters’ seems to be paying attention, we should ensure we bring the storm to them.
Below, you can find a link to the complaints page of the CQC, which contains all of the information you will need to make a full formal complaint through multiple formats, including an easy-read version and several languages. You can also find their contact details, separately, at the bottom of this post. It’s possible that the CQC may only accept complaints from the UK, however there is no harm in attempting contact from abroad.
You will note that this page is not for making a complaint to the CQC – it is to make a complaint about the CQC. To have the greatest impact, we should each submit our own complaints through any means most suited to yourself, whether as an individual or through a network or organisation. We should encourage anyone who is as angered by this abhorrent ruling as we are, to also submit a similar complaint.
Whether your complaint is made via email, in writing, or via phonecall, ensure that this is done – and ensure that, as the CQC requests, your complaint is directed for the attention of the Chief Executive. After all, to whom else should we indicate our anger that the Organisation they run appears to consider abuse in a care setting more acceptable than theft? To whom else should we express our disgust at this ruling, even though the CQC states on their website they have the option of “prosecuting cases where people are harmed or placed in danger of harm”?
As you take on this fight, be sure to direct others to the complaints page alongside this article from the Guardian that can be found below, discussing the events we are enraged at. Whether you share this post or the links themselves, whether you have this discussion publicly or privately with others, be sure to bring everyone together in this Share this with your friends. Share it in any page, group or network with any vague interest in disability, neurodiversity, human rights, or any political or social movements. Share it because you can.
Most especially, share it because many of us – those of us who may be most hurt by this ruling – may be unable to do so themselves. Share it because those who can’t share it are often the most vulnerable of us, those who we should put our rivalries aside for to uphold the rights of, and to inform those responsible for defending their rights – our rights – of just how angry we all are.
CQC National Customer Service Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
8.30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday