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29th October 2011 - Adullam posts its first media statement on this case.

During the last couple of weeks I distributed my first batch of Respect Or Neglect? DVDs to British media institutions. Adullam Homes Housing Association have now released a media statement in response, which can be found here: http://www.adullam.org.uk/news32.html.

The statement claims "Mr Ager’s key workers also facilitated access to statutory care services but unfortunately Mr Ager chose not to accept any such help." As my documentary reveals, Adullam have provided no case file or other documented evidence to support this claim and, according to the letters I've received from Sefton Council and Supporting People, have refused to let any external agencies view his case file. On the other hand, I have official documentation revealing that Adullam support workers had attended meetings with such agencies during which they did not report my father's severe domestic decline.

Their media statement also claims "Adullam does not judge others on the way they wish to live. We support an individual’s choice but we do intervene when there is a risk of harm to themselves, our staff and to others." In this case a client's mental and physical health was deteriorating for several years. The domestic evidence of that deterioration (which I photographed nine months before and immediately after his death) was not reported to the relevant agencies. This was extremely unprofessional and may have been a major contributory factor to the client's death.

Another claim in Adullam's media statement is that "Having completed a full and thorough investigation into this case, we have found that the support provided to Mr Ager Senior was adequate, long-standing and well founded." As revealed in my documentary, Adullam have refused to forward me a copy of their supposed investigation report. To my knowledge they have not allowed any external agencies to view such a report either.

This is not a matter that can be resolved by a privately conducted self-investigation by the very company under scrutiny. No court in the UK would ever allow a defendant to be his own judge and jury. I maintain my position that Adullam are using a smoke screen of confidentiality (to which they are not legally bound - data protection obligation expires upon death) to suppress the truth of this case. I will continue to distribute the Respect or Neglect? DVD.

14th April 2011 - Sefton Council admits its claimed investigation never took place. After another bout of pressure from the Information Commissioner's Office, Margaret Milne of Sefton Council has admitted to me in writing that "Sefton Council did not carry out any such investigation" of my father's case. This is absolute proof of a bureaucratic cover-up. Since November 2009 Margaret has been corresponding with me by letter, describing how her supposed investigation was progressing and even describing the "conclusions" of her "investigation" in a two page letter in October 2010. The no investigation admission by Margaret reveals that for a year she has been fabricating her claims of conducting an investigation. I shall now be seeking legal advice and finalizing a summary of the case (and its cover up) for public distribution.

7th March 2011 - Over two years of documented bureaucratic cover-ups of this case are coming to an end ... updated film of the case soon to be distributed. I've patiently gone through the compliant procedures of Adullam Housing (four levels of management), Supporting People and Sefton Council. I have documented proof of lies and incompetence at all levels of this public service hierarchy and will soon widely distribute an updated, streamlined version of my documentary film on the subject. That is unless Sefton Council pull a magic trick out of their hat by producing factual and thorough documentation disproving the neglect case I've presented.

7th March 2011 - Sefton Council ignoring Freedom of Information request ... again. On the 3rd of Feb I sent an FOI request to Margaret Milne (plus a copy to her manager) for copies of all documentation relating to her supposed investigation of my complaint. The legal deadline of 20 working days has now passed and I've received no reply. I'm sending a reminder letter to Margaret, a week after which I'll register a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This is the exact same problem I encountered last year when requesting a copy of the "investigation report", which Margaret eventually stated "doesn't exist".

16th Nov 2010 - Can the individual who recently contacted me by telephone please call me again. I respect your anonymity and would appreciate further information about the matters discussed. Thankyou.

16th Nov 2010 - Sefton Council manager confirms that there is no investigation report. Despite claiming to have conducted an investigation into this case, supposedly including an interview with Adullam, Margaret Milne of Sefton Council has confirmed to me in writing that the investigation report I requested does not exist. It took me three written Freedom of Information requests followed by an Information Commission Officer's order to receive this reply. After the ICO order the initial response I was given referred to the wrong information and so I had to write a fourth written request.

To summarise: a supposed investigation, which dragged out for approx eight months, has resulted in my receiving a two and a half page Sefton Council letter that provides no information about Adullam's response (other than their refusal to release my Father's case file to aid the investigation). Nor does the letter provide a single piece of evidence refuting the extensive evidence outlined in my complaint and documentary film.

As far as I can tell this seemingly non-existent investigation is another example of the "you cover my back, I'll cover yours" approach to professional neglect, resulting from the multi-agency approach in community care - the outsourcing of sensitive public sector work to non-public companies who are not accountable under the Freedom of Information Act. Neither Supporting People or Sefton Council have been able to conduct a proper investigation into this matter, which by its nature should include access to the deceased's case file. The supposed investigation by Sefton Council has stalled this issue for the past year. Nevertheless, I will continue to bring public and professional attention to the bureaucratic inefficiencies raised by the case.

8th Oct 2010 - Sefton Council says its investigation has been completed, but have not yet made the report available. After an extremely drawn out investigation process, during which I've had to make several further requests for updates, a Sefton Council manager has informed me that she has completed her investigation. Adullam have refused to provide Sefton Council with a copy of my father's case file and Sefton Council have not provided me with any information that contradicts the case put forward in my documentary film.

I've since requested three times in writing that a copy of Sefton Council's investigation report be forwarded to me, but have not received any answer as to whether the Council are willing to send me their report or whether the report even exists. The Information Commissioners Office have given Sefton Council a deadline to fulfil their duties under the Freedom of Information Act.

12th Nov 2009 - Investigation under way at Sefton Council. Managers at Sefton Council have viewed the Respect or Neglect ? DVD and are currently conducting an investigation and liaising with the various agencies who were part of the multi-agency approach to my father's support. Unfortunately, Adullam's charity status (and thus exemption from the Freedom of Information Act) doesn't even allow Sefton Council to view my Father's Casefile at Adullam.

10th Sept 2009 - Progress update. The majority of Adullam Housing's funders and partners have now been informed of my father's case and have received copies of the Respect Or Neglect ? DVD. I've received responses from approx thirty of these organisations, which range from shock, concern, anger and the launching of reviews of existing contracts with Adullam Housing ... to apathy and disinterest - the "your father's case didn't occur under our locality" response. Fortunately, only a handful of managers have responded with the latter and none of them have challenged the evidence presented in the DVD. The variation of response certainly reveals the importance of personal attitudes of managers and how it relates to regulation of services.

One of the most surprising responses was that of The Mental Health Foundation, who include the following as descriptions of their work on their website.

  • tackle mental health issues which are often neglected
  • are independent of any one stakeholder group or way of looking at mental health
  • base our work on strong evidence
  • incorporate the views of service users, their families and the people who support them
  • tell the wider world about our findings through campaigns, information work and the media

From this description one would expect a Watchdog with these kinds of mission statements to take a detailed interest in a case such as my father's. However Kathryn Hill, the Director of Mental Health Programmes for the company has written to me that the Mental Health Foundation "cannot be seen to take sides, especially without hearing from the other parties implicated in the story". I wrote back to Kathryn and explained the total contradiction between her reply and the company's mission statements. I also reminded her that Adullam's detailed responses are included in the film, and I requested that she contact Adullam to get their side of the story for herself. Kathryn has not replied. If you feel the Mental Health Foundation are being unreasonable in this matter then feel free to send an email to the organisation. Their contact details are available on the Mental Health Foundation website.

Further steps are currently being taken in terms of distributing the DVD to appropriate sources. Further updates will be added to this page as feedback is received.

9th July 2009 - The full film can now be downloaded as a single video file. Click the "Watch the Video" link on the menu left screen.

30th June 2009 - The first 17 minutes of the film can now be watched here on the site. Click the "Watch the Video" link on the menu left screen.

21st June 2009 - The full edit of the film is complete.