After the care home for people with learning disabilities gave 10 hours notice to families of its closure, it was criticized by his family as it did not provide safe care.

  • Berkeley House decided that it didn’t have sufficient staff to offer adequate care.
  • At 7.30am, the family was informed that their loved ones must leave by 5pm. 
  • Graham Wakefield, Yola and Graham Wakefield claimed that Graham’s autistic son had left them ‘traumatized’ and ‘devastated’

The family of an autistic boy’s father has condemned the inhumane treatment he received at a learning facility for adults. They were only notified 10 hours before his death by the care provider.  

Berkeley House, Kent, decided that it didn’t have sufficient staff to offer adequate care. It informed families at 7.30am that loved ones had to depart at 5pm the same day. 

Operator Achieve Together announced the closure four days prior, saying that it would take place after 28 days. 

Berkeley House in Kent, which looked after adults with severe learning difficulties and autism, told families at 7.30am that their loved ones would have to leave at 5pm that same day

Berkeley House in Kent looked after people with severe learning problems and autism. They informed their families at 7.30am that they would be leaving that day at 5pm.

Yola and Graham Wakefield’s son, who had been living at Berkeley House for 10 years, stated that Achieve Together had left him “traumatized and devastated”. 

They told The Guardian that their son needed to be sedated in order for them to remove him from his home, which he’d known for over ten years.

We had little time to move his personal effects, so we had to leave everything that was known to him. The experience he had was horrific.  

The company said it had decided to close the home ‘due to our inability to recruit and retain staff we were unable to continue to provide a good standard of care’. 

It added that following an inspection the Care Quality Commission and the local council ‘determined that people’s needs would be better met in alternative provision’.   

More than 100,000 social service staff vacancies are estimated in England. Recent figures also show that more than 41,000 workers have left between April-October. 

The English Councils shared that half of them have witnessed care homes go bankrupt or close in the past six-month. 

At the start of the month ministers announced a £500million initiative to employ more staff in the sector. 

The white paper, called ‘People at the heart of care’, will also promise £300million for supported housing units for the elderly, £150million for digital development and £30million to promote joint working between the NHS and social care.

According to the Nuffield Trust, there’s a “deepening crisis” in social services staffing for winter.

This analysis was based on Department of Health statistics and showed that there were a decline in workforce from 1,584,535 to 1,542.590 by the end of the week of October 26. 

Achieve Together is owned and registered in Jersey by AMP Capital – an Australian investment manager company – who was its ultimate owner. 

Four days earlier operator Achieve Together had said the closure would happen after 28 days

Operator Achieve Together announced that the closing would take place after 28 days four days prior

A spokesman said: ‘We are clear that the provision delivered at Berkeley House fell way below the high standards that the people we support rightly expect and deserve, and that we know we can provide. We sincerely apologise.

“The circumstances that led to the closing of this service were extremely complicated and unusual, and many parties had to be involved. 

“We recognize that people involved were distressed and concerned by the closure’s speed and effect on their families, as well as the negative impact this has had. 

After an inspection of the house on October 20, it declared that ‘urgent’ conditions were imposed on it. Eight days later, another inspection revealed that the provider had opted to cancel its registration. 

Debbie Ivanova is deputy chief inspector for adult social care. She stated, “If we didn’t take this urgent action there might have been a severe risk to people who used their services,” 

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care, “The white paper on adult social care represents a significant and bold step toward delivering an international-leading system of social care that’s fit for the future.”

‘That’s why we are will invest at least £500 million to develop and support the care workforce as part of our additional £5.4 billion investment over three years, which will allow us to build our comprehensive adult social care reform programme.

‘Care homes and home care providers are already benefiting from the new £162.5 million workforce retention and recruitment fund to assist local authorities and care providers in working together to ease workforce pressures in a variety of ways.’