Health Trust bosses in Bradford have been given until tomorrow to come up with a robust care plan nearer home for a disabled teenager they wanted to send to a specialist unit 125 miles away.
Paula Rawnsley, who had fought against her son Thomas, 19, being moved from Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford to Peterborough, said she was “ecstatic” at the decision but admitted she was also concerned about what the future holds.
Although the transfer was blocked, an independent panel’s sole recommendation was to develop a local care plan for Thomas – but that cannot be forced on Bradford District Care Trust, said Mrs Rawnsley, of Wibsey An emergency meeting of independent hospital managers was held on Tuesday after Thomas’s father, Paul Bradbury, put in an 11th hour bid to keep him in Bradford. Mrs Rawnsley’s own appeal against the BDCT’s decision to send him to Peterborough had been rejected.
“My fear is the Trust could come back empty-handed,” Mrs Rawnsley said yesterday.
“The section will be lifted and he will have to come home with me. But inevitably we will end up calling the police because we won’t be able to cope and he will be sectioned all over again. Except Lynfield will refuse to take him – then where will he go? It’s scary.”
Mrs Rawnsley has told how the Peterborough threat was the latest in a series of complaints she had about her Down Syndrome and autistic son’s treatment in the Highfield Unit at Lynfield Mount. This included the use of anti-psychotic drugs and him being left naked in the corridors at the unit, where he has been held under the Mental Health Act since October.
Without a car and no job, she said she would not have been able to visit and “protect” him if he was so many miles away. She also said after a previous incident where Thomas was ill-treated by a careworker at another Bradford home, BDCT had planned to place him in a bungalow of his own near her in Wibsey with trained staff to look after him – but it never happened.