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Disgraced care facility was a ‘living nightmare’ for Ipswich teen

PUBLISHED: 07:30 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:47 27 October 2020

Casey, from Bury St Edmunds, has shared her experience of living in the Stella Maris facility, which was the subject of a recent inquiry. Picture: CASEY DAVIES

Casey, from Bury St Edmunds, has shared her experience of living in the Stella Maris facility, which was the subject of a recent inquiry. Picture: CASEY DAVIES

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A young woman has shared her experience of living at an Ipswich care facility which was recently found to have failed vulnerable adults.

The inquiry into the Stella Maris supported living facility in Ipswich took several months and found the tenants and neighbours were failed by all involved.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe inquiry into the Stella Maris supported living facility in Ipswich took several months and found the tenants and neighbours were failed by all involved. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Casey Davies moved into the Stella Maris supported living facility in September 2019 aged 17, after recovering from a diabetes related coma earlier that year, and moved out in December.

An independent inquiry into the running of the facility was held in August and September this year, finding the multiple agencies involved in providing care had “failed” the tenants and neighbours.

MORE: Ipswich care facility for vulnerable adults was ‘failed’ by everyone involved, report concludes

The inquiry was triggered by a “perfect storm” of issues, including 18-months of anti-social behaviour and hundreds of emergency services call outs to the area.

Casey lived at the Stella Maris facility in Ipswich between September and December 2019. picture: CASEY DAVIESCasey lived at the Stella Maris facility in Ipswich between September and December 2019. picture: CASEY DAVIES

Now 18, Miss Davies lives in Bury St Edmunds and says while she did have some good days at Stella Maris, most were awful.

She said: “We got told that we wouldn’t accomplish anything in life and if we did it would all fail in the end.

“I saw a lot of arguments when I was there – the staff would just stand there and do nothing most days, just laugh and shout when some of us residents got angry or frustrated.

“When they did get involved they just made it worse – we were failed by the staff who were meant to be caring for us.”

Casey told of her experiences Picture: CASEY DAVIESCasey told of her experiences Picture: CASEY DAVIES

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Caregivers at the facility denied allegations that medication was not administered properly during the inquiry, while tenants claimed key medications were sometimes missed or left outside their flats for them.

Miss Davies claimed on one occasion she was left unconscious and alone outside the flats after not being given her diabetes medication on time, while staff waited inside for an ambulance to turn up.

MORE: ‘My daughter is a miracle’, says mum of teenager who ‘died’ five times

“I kept myself to myself in my flat most of the time,” she added.

“I did get frustrated and end up shouting a few times and I am really sorry that the neighbours had to deal with that.

“It was like living in a nightmare.”

A spokesman for Swanton Care said: “The safety and wellbeing of the people we support is always our highest priority.

“Whilst we are not in a position to comment on individual cases, the experience of the private tenants living in their own flats at Stella Maris was fully examined during the recent Independent Inquiry commissioned by Suffolk County Council.

“We fully accepted the findings and the recommendations of that multi-agency inquiry and we have already implemented a robust action plan to ensure the issues in supported living, for which we are responsible, could not be repeated.

“We do once again wish to apologise that the supported living services at Stella Maris did not meet our normal high standard.”


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