Concerns from a family member, CMG’s Relative Liaison Officer and CMG’s Family Conference

14th January 2015  Add comments

Last week I visited eight services. My week started with meeting the parents of a young man who we support who had some concerns about the care he is receiving. I am going to meet them every month until the issues are resolved. We also had another situation last week where a couple of unfortnate silly mistakes were made by staff which led to a complaint from a parent. These kind of situations frustrate me enormously as attention to detail and always doing what you say you are going to do are extremely important values for me. We are trying hard to inculcate them in CMG. It seems that there is a laissez-faire attitude in care where sloppiness is seen as acceptable. You wouldn’t expect poor service in a restaurant and I’m determined that the same should apply in CMG. Having said that most of our services are very good and most families are very happy with the support their loved ones receive.

Because we really want to listen to families and work in partnership with them, we created the post of Relative Liaison Officer about a year ago. Helen Woods occupies that role and regularly talks to families if they have any issues or concerns, so please do contact her ( Many CMG families know me personally as well and I’m always happy for them to contact me as well (

We are about to start delivering two care packages to young people with complex needs. One lives with his mother in Cardiff and the other lives in his own accommodation in Croydon. In both cases, we see it as extremely important that we develop a good relationship with those people’s families right from the start.

As working with families has been a theme in this blog, I would like this opportunity to remind CMG families and any other families of people with learning disabilities, that we will be holding our first ever family conference on Saturday March 14th, 10.30am-4pm, at Imber Court Sports and Social Club in East Molesey, Surrey. Keynote speakers include Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, CQC and Vivian Cooper, Founder of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation. We will also be holding workshops on:

Positive Behaviour Support – promoting positive coping skills and reducing challenging behaviour

Best practice in supporting people on the autistic spectrum

Transparency and quality in CMG – how do you know what really goes on in services

The Mental Capacity Act

Family conference invite_Page_1








I do hope you can attend.

Peter Kinsey

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27 Christmas visits, safeguarding case and Happy New Year!

7th January 2015  Add comments

The week between Christmas and New Year is always quiet and I like to work then because the roads are clear and it is easier to get around and visit services. I managed to visit 27 last week, including the 5 services in the Vale of Glamorgan, which I don’t get to see as often as I would like. I was particularly impressed, when I visited our Beddington service on the border of Croydon and Sutton, to see one of the service users being actively encouraged to exercise on the treadmill. A number of our services are purchasing exercise equipment of different sorts, which I think is an excellent way of encouraging healthy lifestyles.

I also attended a safeguarding meeting last week as the Regional Director, who covers that area, was on annual leave. The case related to an anonymous whistle blowing allegation and appears to have been malicious, coming from a disgruntled member of staff. Unfortunately, some people choose to use the whistle blowing process as a way of getting back at their colleagues or manager, which is completely unacceptable. On this occasion, both the local authority and police were very pragmatic and we managed to get the investigation carried out very quickly.

A challenge for CMG and lots of other care providers is that the fact that the police often get involved, even in fairly low level safeguarding allegations and typically take between 6 weeks and 3 months to investigate. Invariably, they decide after that time, not to take any further action and then hand the investigation over to the provider. Apart from the fact that this costs millions of pounds a year in staff suspensions, the impact on individual staff members who are fearing for their job and career, can be enormous. It is not uncommon for a member of staff to go off sick with depression after a significant period of suspension. I have previously tried to tackle this issue with the Police Federation but will see if I can get a coalition together across the sector, as I know this is an issue that concerns my fellow Chief Executives in other organisations.

I would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Peter Kinsey

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