No action on assaults of daughter, says mother

20:29, Oct 28 2012

The mother of a disabled Christchurch woman is furious nothing has happened since her daughter was allegedly assaulted twice in her care home.

Fay Gillman's daughter Leanne, 37, is involved in two active police inquiries after allegedly being assaulted in two separate incidents at the Mary Moodie Family Trust facility in Ferry Rd this year.

Concerns raised by family members prompted the Health Ministry to this month appoint a temporary manager for the facility, which was home to about 12 people with varying intellectual disabilities.

A Christchurch facility with a similar name - the Mary Moodie Respite Care Charitable Trust in Hoon Hay - is not connected to the affected facility.

The Ferry Rd care home is the third for vulnerable people in Canterbury to be taken over by health authorities in just three months.

The Canterbury District Health Board appointed temporary managers to Wiltshire Lifecare in Rangiora in July and Bermuda House in Upper Riccarton last month after complaints about the standard of care.


Health Ministry disability support services group manager Toni Atkinson said the ministry was aware of at least 16 complaints directed to the Mary Moodie Family Trust's manager or board since May.

"These complaints indicate a breakdown in the relationship between some of the families and the trust board and manager," she said.

Temporary managers were working with the trust's management after issues were unable to be resolved between the manager, the trust's board and the families.

The work included talking to residents, their families and staff to establish what the issues were and looking for ways to resolve the complaints.

"As the trust has been the home for these residents for many years, our goal is to ensure the outcome of this process is in the best interests of the residents."

Gillman claimed the problems at the facility had been "going on for a long time", but the ministry had failed to do anything about the situation.

"Because these people can't speak up for themselves, I just think they're left.

"I can't speak for the other parents, but they are suffering. All of us parents are at our wits end. They're all tired; they don't know what to do."

She knew of nine families who wanted to take their children out of the trust because of alleged abuse and neglect issues.

One mother had pulled her daughter out of the home already, and Gillman said she would take Leanne out as well if she was not living in Brisbane.

"Not all the staff are bad, luckily there are a couple there . . . who care about the guys, but of course they're not there 24-7."

Gillman said she met Mary Moodie, who the trust was named after, when Leanne Gillman, who is non-verbal, moved in aged 18.

"The families are upset that Mary Moodie's name has been dragged through the mud. She will be turning in her grave."

The first alleged assault against Leanne Gillman happened in July, leaving her with a black eye, bruising to her arms and thighs and an injured toe.

She was also suffering from a urinary tract infection that had been left untreated for at least a month, Gillman said.

The staff member allegedly involved had since resigned, but no other action had been taken, she said.

In September, Leanne Gillman was allegedly assaulted again by another staff member, with another resident alleging Leanne was shoved by the staff member on to a bed and had "bashed her head" on the wall as she fell.

Gillman was also concerned about other incidents in the house, including the fact her daughter was hospitalised for seven days with pneumonia after the February 2011 earthquake.

Complaints were made to police about both alleged assaults, and last week Gillman complained to the Canterbury district police commander about their "lack of action".

She was assured police were looking into the case, but was still waiting for an update.

"I want something done. I've really got to the stage when I've had enough.

"I get so frustrated. I feel so . . . sad, angry, sad for Leanne, all of them. They shouldn't have to put up with this. If I'm feeling like this, then how is little Leanne feeling."

She hoped sharing her story would help save someone else "from all this bloody heartache".

Christchurch police spokesman Stephen Hill confirmed police were investigating two complaints of assault in relation to the Mary Moodie Family Trust in Ferry Rd.

The Press