Posted by: John Brace | 13 March 2012

Wirral Council’s Health Committee looks into safeguarding failures at Kent House, Oxton, Wirral

Last night, councillors on Wirral Council’s Health and Wellbeing Committee expressed their concern at not knowing about an inspection report highlighting failures in safeguarding at Kent House, Oxton, Wirral until January 2012 during a joint health committee meeting of Wirral and Cheshire Council. Kent House is a Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust inpatient facility providing services for adults with a learning disability.

The Chair, Cllr Patricia Glasman was most concerned that the Health and Wellbeing Committee had known nothing about this until months after the critical inspection had happened. The new Director of Adult Social Services said that he would make sure that these sorts of things were brought to the Committee’s attention in the future.

The Chief Executive Sheena Cumiskey and Andy Styring, Director of Operations at Kent House answered questions from the committee and detailed what had been done since the September inspection to achieve compliance. The initial unannounced inspection had found that Kent House was falling short in the areas of care and welfare of patients who use their services, safeguarding people who used the services from abuse and the quality of services provided.

However since then, improvements had been made and a later re-inspection on 13th December 2011 showed that Kent House had made improvements in the area of safeguarding.


  1. When the current Mayor, Councillor Moira McLaughlin was chair of this committee, presumably at the time in question, I and Councillor Mountney (who played a large part in uncovering the ongoing concealment of abuse) did our damndest to make her aware of disability discrimination against learning disabled service users, as found by Mike Smith, chair of the Disabilities Committee of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

    At the committee, she was personally handed a letter, expressing Mr Smith’s findings, that there had been disability discrimination, yet she would not allow it to be lodged, claiming she needed prior notification.

    Personally, that was the last I heard of it and even now, this issue of the chair of a committee appearing reluctant to act on serious concerns, appears to have become buried by all the other scandals that are emerging, one after the other.

    • “appears to have become buried by all the other scandals that are emerging, one after the other.”

      Yes, it’s becoming hard to keep up. However the current Mayor had ceased to be Chair of this Committee about four months before the period referred to.