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The case presented in the documentary film Respect or Neglect ? relates to my father, Robert Ager Snr, who was a client of Adullam's community support services for 12 years. During this time, my father's health deteriorated into alcoholism, psychotic illness, repeated suicide attempts and his eventual death from an accumulated overdose of Paroxetine (a highly addictable anti-depressant).

In the early months of 2008 I discovered that my father's living conditions had considerably deteriorated (see photos below) to the extent that he was not capable of looking after himself in the community. It was also evident that his mental health conditions had become much more severe. I had not seen the inside of his flat for several years because my contact with my father had consisted of him visiting me at my flat on the other side of the city, so it was unclear how long his domestic deterioration had gone on for.

kitchen condition

My father had been receiving weekly support visits from Adullam support workers throughout his tenancy and he was an outpatient at a local mental health clinic. The support workers from Adullam had attended meetings with my father and his psychiatrist, yet had not reported his domestic decline (either to his psychiatrist or G.P). Due to mental illness, my father lacked insight into his own health. So, aside from the observations of Adullam staff, his decline went largely unnoticed.

bedroom broken heater

Concerned about my father's wellbeing, I began attending his meetings at the mental health clinic. I provided a six page report and photographic evidence of his living conditions to the Community Psychiatric Nurse. Over the following months it was arranged that my father would be relocated to a sheltered housing project, which was more appropriate to his needs. This relocation was due to take place on the 29th Sep 2008, but unfortunately my father died six days beforehand. He was 52 years of age.

carpet condition

In the time since his death I have attempted to discover precisely how long my father's deteriorating living conditions and lifetyle had gone on for and why Adullam support workers did not report what they were witnessing in their weekly visits. I have corresponded with four levels of the Adullam management team, right up to the chair of the board, but the company refuses to provide me with a copy of my father's case file, which they are legally allowed to do. Unfortunately, the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to Adullam due to the technicality that they are not a public body (even though they are contracted by a public body to carry out work of a public nature). In their responses to my complaint, Adullam managers have consistently avoided key questions about my father's care. As evidenced in the documentary film I've produced, Adullam managers have also distorted information and told several outright lies about the company's conduct in supporting my father. The company claims to have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, in which they concluded there was no professional neglect, yet they have refused to provide me with a copy of the internal investigation report. This combination of factors has led me to the conclusion that the company managers have deliberately attempted to hide the evidence of professional neglect in my father's case.

I have also pursued a complaint with the organisation that funded Adullam to support my father, the Supporting People Programme (Sefton Council branch), in which the service manager claimed that she is legally unable to investigate my father's case. She did, however, conduct a Quality Assessment of Adullam's overall performance and concluded to me in writing that there was no evidence that the company was failing to carry out its duties. However, upon reading the report myself, it turned out that Adullam had failed to satisfy sixteen of the assessment conditions - even after extended deadlines of three months. Adullam Housing Association and the Sefton Council branch of Supporting People have also received very poor ratings in their most recent assessments by the Audit Commission.

Being that I have seemingly reached legal dead ends in pursuit of my allegation against Adullam and my attempts to acquire further information about my father's support, I have decided to raise this issue publicly by producing the documentary film Respect or Neglect ?. The film has been distributed to Adullam's partners and funders. At present I am awaiting the result of an investigation that is currently being carried out by Sefton Council. (see Latest News link on the side bar menu for updates including Sefton Council's response)

Rob Ager (jnr) Aug 2009