Reporting concerns

This section is for questions relating to therapy, assessment, formulation and other aspects of working with people in mental health services.

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lingua_franca
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:29 pm

Reporting concerns

Post by lingua_franca » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:45 am

Today I was talking to a woman who is a support worker in a housing project for vulnerable families. She said a lot of things that alarmed me. I don't want to say too much here in case it makes her identifiable, but one comment was that she is "doing CAMHS-level therapy with the kids." She does not have any qualifications in counselling or therapy.

She went on to describe several things about her practice that really made alarm bells ring, and I wondered uneasily if I should be reporting this to somebody. I went online to see if I could find out more about the project she works for, and discovered that earlier in the year it was being investigated by the Charities Commission over a number of serious concerns. The results of that investigation have not yet been published, but from what this employee has told me, the dodgy situation is continuing in spite of the investigation.

I decided to raise this with CQC. Then I found that while the provider is registered with Companies House and with the Charities Commission, it isn't listed anywhere on the CQC website. I didn't even know it was possible to operate a residential service without CQC oversight, but apparently it is. So I don't know who I should be reporting to - Charities Commission guidance says that you should first bring up the matter with the charity itself, and as I have no connection with them and they are apparently OK'ing what this lady does, I don't see what good that would do. Has anyone ever come across a situation like this before? :? I'm really stuck for the best way to tackle it.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

lakeland
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Re: Reporting concerns

Post by lakeland » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:56 pm

Who funds the service? Are they commissioned by (for example) a local council who may be interested in their actions?

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miriam
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Re: Reporting concerns

Post by miriam » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:49 am

We heard about a similar situation on here a few years back, where an "inpatient eating disorder psychology service" turned out to be an unregistered private rental of rooms, with an unqualified "psychologist" doing her own thing without any postgraduate qualifications or supervision. The result was the near death of a child who was not given appropriate care, and a serious case review. The GP assisting her got disciplined or struck off, but the facility technically broke no rules (except perhaps advertising standards) and she was under no regulatory body.

However, this would be unlikely if it is a residential children's service, and it is more likely to be covered by Ofsted, who inspect children's homes and social care placements (CQC is just for healthcare settings). If they are not covered by Ofsted, and/or you are concerned about malpractice, I'd certainly speak to the local social services team responsible for protecting children or the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and raise whether there needs to be an investigation, highlighting the concerns of the charities commission, and the nature of an unregistered residential provision.

But I would say that claiming to do CAMHS level therapy without having qualifications is a bit grandiose, but probably not enough to indicate harmful practise, as lots of people have no idea what real therapy involves, or may have seen therapists who take a child out for a chat or attend meetings (and think they can do that just as well) without having any knowledge of theory, models, assessment or formulation.

If you want to give me some more information without putting it on the public forum in a way that might breach confidentiality or be potentially defamatory, feel free to send me a PM or an email and I can give more specific advice about this situation.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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