Today I discovered that their arrogance extended to ignoring the law in the services they offer.
According to their website:
…if you are in need of respite, please contact us and send us a short outline of what your needs are.
The provision of Respite care in Scotland is taken very seriously by the government. So seriously that it set up something called the Care Commission. The Care Commission is there to:
The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 (the Act) established a system of care regulation in Scotland. The Act‘s purpose is to provide greater protection for people in need of care services. We are required by the Act to regulate certain care services.
with one of those service being _’Short breaks and respite care services’_ .
One of the great services on the Care Commission website is the ability to check whether a service is registered with them or not. I invite you to do it now – why not check to see if the Autism Treatment Trust is registered?
In fact, I’ll save you some time. They’re not.
Before I blogged this I wanted to be absolutely sure of two things:
1) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely not registered with the Care Commission
2) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.
I tackled the second point first. As members of the Autism Treatment Trust know who I am I decided to assume a false identity and email them. I asked Autism Treatment Trust if they could offer me respite care. The response was:
Thank you for your interest in the Autism Treatment Trust. We have respite care by some of our professional volunteers. This is free of charge, however you would have to cover the travel costs of the volunteer. Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.
So that took care of that – Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.
To tackle the first point I contacted the Care Commission and asked them if the Autism Treatment Trust were registered with them, as they must be by law. They were not.
Autism Treatment Trust are flouting the law in Scotland. As a autism parent I went on to report them to the Care Commission. The Duty Officer I spoke to was very interested and confirmed that Autism Treatment Trust were definitely breaking the law and that steps would be taken. These steps would include an investigation of Autism Treatment Trust and the forced cessation of offering respite care.
I recieved this email from the Care Commission earlier:
Following your enquiry regarding Autism Treatment Trust I have spoke with the organisation’s President and a doctor working in the clinic. They have confirmed that the respte on offer is where a volunteer (Disclosure Scotland checked) provides activities in the young person’s home while the parent is in the home. The volunteer does not carry out any personal care or administration of medication. Given these circumstances the organisation would not be required to register as a care service.
I have advised them that if they develop their respite to enable the parent to leave the home then they would need to apply to the Care Commission for registration
That is not what the service was described to me as. The email I received clearly states:
_”Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.”_
Are parents present during this activity?
The relavent page on the ATT website has now changed from its content this morning. This morning the content was as this screenshot (click for bigger):
The content now reads (click for bigger):