A furious father has slammed Doncaster Council as being “incompetent” after providing inaccurate information about the state of adult safeguarding services.
Adrian Milnes, whose stepson Ritchie Rowe was one of the patients alleged to have been abused at the Solar Centre by care workers, is demanding answers after the council provided incorrect information to a Freedom of Information request.
Mr Milnes had posed a series of questions relating to the number of safeguarding adults alerts raised back in November 2012 following the abuse at the Solar Centre in which two care workers were eventually convicted of abusing patients.
But after Doncaster Council was questioned about why there had been so few alerts and investigations compared to other parts of the country and following their response Mr Milne was contacted last week to say the information was wrong.
Mr Milnes said: “This makes an absolute nonsense of the Freedom of Information Act, if they are saying this information is wrong it’s just sheer incompetence and inexcusable.”
The information Mr Milne was provided with showed the average for learning disability referral in other councils was 113 in 2011-12 but in Doncaster it was just eight and from September 2010 to April 2012 there was not a single criminal investigation as a result of safeguarding work in the borough.
Mr Milnes said some of the information did not add up, including in 2011-12 there were just seven alerts and eight referrals despite being 34 investigations.
Assistant director of adult social care, Pat Higgs, said: “Whilst satisfied that the information provided was thought to be correct at the time, it is now clear that it was not. The council would like to apologise for this error, the accurate picture is provided in the subsequent responses to requests for information and in the safeguarding annual reports which are public documents.” Allegations of abuse committed on Ritchie Rowe came back with not guilty verdicts At the recent Sheffield Crown Court trial. The family is pursuing a civil case.