When I read that a parent claims that she is being denied proper access to her adult child because she has regularly queried aspects of his care, I was horrified. Even more so when the care home in question is one that I was going to approach for Smiley's long term needs as I greatly admire the woman to established it.
Children like Smiley are SO vulnerable. She totally depends on her carers to love her and look after her and give her everything she needs. As her parent I expect the same from anyone who is minding her on my behalf. We shouldn't have to complain. We shouldn't have to question. How can ANYONE not want the best for our very special children. They have been dealt a difficult hand, but they deserve a good life, just the same as everyone else.
It looks as though I need to plan to live a very long time.
PRESS RELEASE Parent Removed from Laura Lynn Hospice by Gardai after making complaints about care.
23rd February 2013
Cathy Andrews is undertaking a peaceful protest outside the LauraLynn Hospice (formerly known as the Children’s Sunshine Home) on the Leopardstown Road to highlight what she considers to be an inhumane and cruel set of restrictions imposed by the Director of Nursing, These restrictions prevent Cathy from being with her son Ronan, who is in long-term residence in LauraLynn. All other parents and family members have unrestricted access.
The LauraLynn Hospice has a high media profile, designed to raise many millions of euro to provide respite care for children with life limiting conditions in a new purpose built unit. What is not generally known is that there is a group of young adults in residence in an older part of the building who have severe and profound levels of disability, some of whom have a short time to live and require skilled care. Cathy’s son Ronan is 25. He has severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a profound level of learning disability and a chronic lung condition. He has had a very difficult life and is often seriously ill. Cathy visits him very frequently to help care for him.
However, all is not well in LauraLynn. At times, the organisation has a poor and fractious relationship with some of the parents of long-stay patients.
As with all facilities providing care for the disabled, the LauraLynn is not as yet open to inspection by HIQA, the independent health monitoring body. As a result, parents and family members have to take personal responsibility for ensuring that their loved one is being cared for in a proper manner. Many parents have found themselves fulfilling this role for many years. On occasion, this has led to conflict with management.
If parents make what the management considers to be too many complaints, or are very dogged and insistent, attempts will be made to silence them. This is often done in a subtle manner. Having driven parents to depths of frustration or despair by failure to respond properly to concerns, it is natural for parents to become angry and/or distressed at times. At this point the management can make an easy case that the parent is frightening or upsetting staff and is a threat to the smooth running of the establishment. The Health and Safety legislation is then used as justification for banning parents from the premises or imposing draconian restrictions on visits to their loved one. This is what has happened to Cathy.
Cathy has been a stalwart disability campaigner, determined to ensure that her son and other residents receive first rate care in Laura Lynn. She has been involved over the years in issues around patient safety, living conditions, hygiene and protection from abuse and has suffered a great deal of frustration in the process. On this occasion, she has been falsely accused of creating difficulties for staff because of her insistence that her son should not be confined to his bed, in isolation, for a large portion of the day. This she saw as a form of abuse. Cathy has done no wrong. The management action has imposed severe and punitive hardship on Cathy, who loves and cares for her son Ronan very much. Ronan has been deprived of his mother’s company, care and support at a time when he badly needs it. He is an innocent victim. This situation is outrageous and intolerable.
Under the management’s edict Cathy may only visit her son for limited hours during the week, and not at all over the weekend. In an attempt to establish her right to have access to her son at all times Cathy refused to leave Laura Lynn last Thursday evening, when her restricted time was up. She was then subjected to the humiliation of being escorted away from her son and off the premises by the Garda - at management insistence. You can call For further information contact Cathy Andrews 087-6616504 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The very sad news has been announced that Ronan Andrews died peacefully on October 11th in the loving care of the staff of St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin. May he rest in peace.