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This woman made a complaint of alleged abuse at a centre...
..for people with severe learning disabilities in Carmarthen.
She says the local council hasn't dealt with the complaint...
..and she's been punished for raising it.
I've lost out financially, but what worries me most...
..is the effect this has had these people.
Tonight, on Taro 9, does the whistleblower pay the price?
Throughout her life, Delyth Jenkins has lived and worked in the area.
From 1994 on, she was an administrative officer...
..at a day centre in Johnstown, run by Carmarthenshire Council.
Adults with severe learning difficulties attend the centre...
..and one individual, Sally, not her real name, stays in her mind.
I'd say she was seven-and-a-half, eight stone at the most.
She can't talk.
She gets frustrated when people don't understand what she wants.
I regularly felt that people didn't have time for her.
We can't show you Sally's picture...
..as her family don't want her to be recognised.
But in June 2005, something happened at this centre behind me...
..that would change the lives of Sally, her family...
..and Delyth Jenkins forever.
I was in the office and I heard the door opening.
I didn't hear anything afterwards, so I knew someone had gone out.
Then Delyth Jenkins looked out of her window.
I could see Sally out in the car park.
People who attended the centre weren't supposed to go out...
..unless accompanied by a member of staff.
Delyth Jenkins was worried that Sally was outside alone.
I went out and as soon as she saw me, she sat down.
I tried, for a few seconds, to coax her back in..
..but she refused to move.
Guidelines say care has to be taken in attempting to move or carry...
..people with severe learning disabilities...
..Delyth decided to call for the help of two colleagues.
Without warning, Officer B held her under her arms...
..and yanked her up.
While she did that, the other witness tried to tell her...
..to leave her alone, that she'd get up in her own time.
The way she was lifted went completely against her care plan.
Then she was pushed into the centre...
..and then pushed into the toilet.
Delyth Jenkins didn't witness what happened inside the toilet...
..but her colleague who followed Sally and Officer B into the toilet..
..alleged she had heard Officer B hitting Sally.
The other worker went after them and then she heard a slap.
The incident was among a number things that worried Delyth Jenkins...
..about the way vulnerable people were treated at the centre.
She was worried Officer B wasn't qualified to work with...
..people with severe learning disabilities.
In 2005, she took her complaints to her managers in the council.
A lot of good people work in these types of centres...
..but it's been the easiest job to get into...
..and you're working with the most vulnerable people in society.
It's important to ensure they do the checks...
..and they employ the right people because it's not for everyone.
Sally's mother doesn't want to be seen on camera...
..as she doesn't want her daughter to be recognized.
She feels indebted to Delyth Jenkins for raising her concerns...
..about the way her daughter was treated.
I'd like to thank her on behalf of myself and my husband...
..but mostly for my daughter and the vulnerable people...
..that are in the centre that she spoke up for and protected.
According to the mother, Delyth Jenkins was punished for her bravery.
I think she was very badly treated, Mrs Jenkins...
..for the way she supported vulnerable people in the centre.
When a complaint of abuse is made and an investigation is held...
..the accused are usually suspended from work.
Despite Delyth Jenkins's complaint, Officer B...
..who denied hitting Sally, remained in post for five months.
She didn't feel her complaint was adequately addressed by the council.
They didn't give any feedback at all.
The policy is that when someone makes a compliant...
..they should reply within 10 days and give regular feedback.
But they didn't listen. They just didn't take is seriously.
In June 2006, 10 months after Delyth Jenkins...
..made an official complaint to the county council...
..she met with the council official who was handling the complaint.
What the official said to her was of great concern.
I told her what was going on.
She said, "We know what's going on within the department....
"..but the glass is too thick above."
She said my complaints went nowhere.
What did you think she was trying to tell you?
That someone was stopping things.
In July 2006, Delyth Jenkins decided to take her complaint...
..to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.
Within two days, she received a reply...
..saying they would look into her complaints.
On occasion, the Ombudsman deals with complaints from 'whistleblowers'...
..people like Delyth Jenkins...
..who draw attention to workplace maladministration.
We went to Middlesex University to meet Professor David Lewis...
..one of Britain's top experts on whistleblowing.
The academic says it takes great bravery for individuals...
..to voice their concerns if they see maladministration in their workplace.
If they do face problems...
..it's likely to be that they're not believed, that they're ignored...
..that they're seen as trouble-makers, they're ostracised.
So it can have an extremely negative effect.
Delyth Jenkins felt that some were trying to make things hard for her...
..and making her life miserable.
After taking her complaint to the Ombudsman...
..she says she started receiving sinister phone calls.
They always happened in clusters...
..at times when the investigation was progressing.
There were sometimes three or four a day.
I started to log them and there were more than 100 by the end.
I'd answer, say good morning and the name of the place...
..there'd be silence, then they'd hang up.
It was done in order to harass me and threaten me.
Delyth Jenkins logged the calls from Summer 2006 to September 2009.
She answered most at her office but she also received calls at home.
Are you sure that was the intention?
Perhaps someone was making a mistake or maybe it was a coincidence.
It always happened when things were progressing to another level...
..and there were too many.
Delyth Jenkins took her complaints...
..to the highest level in the county council.
In a meeting with the Director of Public Services, Bruce McLernon...
..she says he promised to deal with her concerns.
The administrative officer...
..had also contacted the council's Chief Executive, Mark James.
I wrote to him in July 2006, outlining all the complaints.
It seems that he passed it on to his monitoring officer and...
..I heard nothing further about it.
Although senior council official were aware of the complaints...
..Carmarthenshire County Council's department of Social Services...
..had not informed Sally's family of the alleged incident.
More than a year passed before the mother heard of...
..an investigation into allegations that her daughter had been abused...
..which in council care.
It was by accident that we found out about it, a year after.
I didn't realise that they were investigating allegations of abuse.
Because of this, we continued to send my daughter there.
She was then abused by a second member of staff.
In July 2006, witnesses claim to have seen Sally...
..being hit across the head by another member of staff...
..who resigned soon afterwards.
And Sally didn't only suffer physical abuse...
..according to Delyth Jenkins.
She also suffered psychological bullying.
Sally had refused to eat her lunch, and she was told...
..she couldn't have her pudding because "she's got to learn".
The following day, she wasn't given pudding again...
..because it would look as if they were giving in to her.
Officer B's disciplinary hearing was held in May 2007...
..almost two years after the first alleged incident of abuse.
Although she was found guilty of misconduct...
..Carmarthenshire County Council decided...
..there wasn't enough evidence to prove that she'd hit Sally.
Although Officer B no longer works at the Johnstown Day Centre...
..she still has an administrative position...
..in the care services department.
During the ombudsman's investigation...
..Delyth Jenkins heard rumours that efforts were being made...
..to move her to a different job within the council.
By summer 2009, four years after the original complaint...
..the strain was affecting her health.
I call it psychological abuse. They just tried to wear me down.
I had chest pains.
My blood pressure had gone through the roof.
I didn't want to go to work.
I kept concentrating on this ombudsman's report.
I kept thinking...
..I have to carry on to make things better for these people.
After the break, we'll hear the outcome of that investigation.
Delyth Jenkins made a complaint, claiming a disabled girl...
..was being abused by staff at a centre for adults...
..with learning difficulties in Carmarthen.
After failing to get answers from Carmarthen County Council...
..she took her complaint to the ombudsman.
She also turned to someone else who'd had a similar experience.
Eileen Chubb lost her job after voicing concerns...
..about mistreatment at a nursing home for the elderly in England.
She saw similarities between the cases.
It's the level of failure that's scandalous.
It's not just one level of management...
..it's all the way through the council.
In September 2009, three years after the investigation started...
..the ombudsman's office published a report...
..on Delyth Jenkins's complaints.
The conclusions were damning.
Carmarthenshire County Council officials were severely criticised.
This complaint was one of the most serious we've received.
Very often, we see isolated cases...
..with regard to the complaints we receive.
We were concerned about this case because we were aware...
..that similar cases were happening within the centre.
So it wasn't only this individual who was in danger.
During this time...
..other individuals who attended the centre were also in danger.
The ombudsman decided that Delyth Jenkins was right to complain.
The main issue was a lack of management...
..within the learning disability department.
There wasn't a culture of putting the individual...
..at the heart of the service.
There were also obvious failures in the way they investigated...
..the complaints they received about the service in that centre.
Sally's family welcomed the report...
..but thinking about her daughter's experiences...
..was heartbreaking for her mother.
It was heartbreaking. It still is now.
You know, it's very hard to send her to people who are abusing her.
You're hoping that they're taking care of her.
For charities that work with people with learning difficulties...
..Sally's experience was a cause for great concern.
According to Rhodri Davies from Mencap, it raises questions...
..about the methods used to communicate with people...
..with serious learning disabilities and who can't speak...
..to find out about possible cases of abuse.
It's important for providers to consider working...
..with people who are experts in this field.
Maybe people who could work with individuals like Sally...
..by using special techniques like using pictures or symbols...
..in order to work with them, and get that feedback.
Unlike residential homes...
..day centres like the one Sally attended...
..are not regulated by independent agencies.
Delyth Jenkins believes the Government...
..should intervene to change that.
Carmarthenshire County Council says it has responded...
..to what the ombudsman raised and that it has changed the way...
..it deals with complaints like those you made.
One of the recommendations in the ombudsman's report...
..was that it would alert the Welsh Government about the fact...
..that these people are vulnerable.
The report said that it should be regulated from outside.
But it seems to me that that hasn't happened.
The ombudsman's report made several recommendations.
But what concerned Delyth Jenkins was that most of the officials...
..who were criticised about the way they dealt with the complaint...
..were still in post.
After the report was published, Delyth Jenkins met...
..the county council's chief executive, Mark James.
As soon as I went in, I knew he was angry.
When I started asking what was going to be done...
..as a result of the report, he shouted at me...
..and what he said was, "Back off a bit."
I felt he was quite threatening.
No complaints have been made against the current staff.
Only one staff member who worked there...
..when the alleged abuse occurred still works there.
But we wanted to know how many of the people who were criticised...
..by the ombudsman still work for the authority.
The council didn't want to discuss the staff...
..who were mentioned in the 2009 report.
The council told us this matter was settled by both sides...
..several months ago.
The council says changes have been made to the care service...
..since the ombudsman's report into Delyth Jenkins' complaints...
..and the Care Standards Inspectorate has acknowledged that.
You can't draw a line through things if they're inconvenient.
As long as those people are employed by the council...
..the culture is exactly the same now as it was then.
Are you worried it could happen again?
Yes. I'm seriously concerned it could happen again.
It's a scandalous failure.
According to Sally's mother, her daughter's problems...
..have worsened following her experiences in the day centre.
I think they let us down badly.
They failed to protect my daughter on a number of occasions...
..before and after the abuse was reported.
Seven years on, she's still suffering from the effects...
..of what happened during that time.
She suffers medical and psychological problems...
..that will probably be with her for years.
The mother's concern is that Delyth Jenkins' experience...
..will deter staff from taking complaints to the authorities...
..if they believe disabled people are being abused.
Staff will think twice before reporting any abuse they see...
..because they're frightened of losing their jobs.
Professor David Lewis is an expert in occupational law...
..and is used to cases like this.
Carmarthenshire County Council had a policy about raising concerns...
..about care standards when Delyth Jenkins made her complaint.
But according to the academic, what's on paper...
..and what happens in reality can be very different.
I've had a look at the current procedure.
I'm not sure it's the best, but it's a question of credibility.
People have to have confidence...
..that you're going to abide by the procedure.
The Jenkins case suggests this procedure isn't anything other...
..than a piece of paper and that they won't suffer retaliation.
So this is a great difficulty for the authority.
The county council says it has put solid processes in place...
..following the ombudsman's report.
But does that mean the problems are over?
We've looked at how the processes and so on have changed...
..within the council.
They seem to be solid.
With regard to culture, that's obviously something...
..that's more difficult to put in place.
That's something that may take time to take effect.
We've been taking to the Care Standards Inspectorate...
..so that it can, within its own reviews over a period of time...
..make sure that the situation has improved...
..and is effective and permanent.
Delyth Jenkins is pleased that the ombudsman has decided...
..that the county council failed to investigate her complaint.
However, she feels more needs to be done...
..to ensure this doesn't happen again.
The Government should give the ombudsman more powers.
If the Government won't deal with the matter, who will?
In October 2010, Delyth Jenkins left her job with the council.
She intended to take her former employer to an industrial tribunal.
But before the hearing last July, she agreed a financial settlement.
However, she feels she had to leave a job she enjoyed...
..and claims that the officials who dealt with the complaint...
..are still in their jobs and some have been promoted.
They should have lost their jobs for what they did.
You're talking about the most vulnerable people in society.
They can't stand up for themselves.
It's disgraceful, to be honest.
Taro Naw asked for an interview...
..with Carmarthenshire County Council's...
..director of care services, Bruce McLernon.
However, he refused.
The chief executive, Mark James, also refused to be interviewed.
In a statement, Carmarthenshire County Council told Taro 9...
'..that the authority is disappointed by continued efforts...
'..to bring this matter to the public's attention...
'..five or six years after the events...
'..suggesting, as it were, that that situation remains unchanged.
'At the time, the criticism, which could be justified...
'..of the failure of protective processes...
'..was taken very seriously and the authority...
'..has taken all the appropriate steps to ensure...
'..that such failures won't be repeated.'
The council added that they work with parents, carers...
..spokesgroups and managers to continually develop their services.
But according to an international expert on such cases...
..there was serious misadministration in Delyth Jenkins's case...
..and the Welsh Government needs to act.
Given the ombudsman was involved...
..and made a finding of serious maladministration...
..I would have thought the politicians should say...
.."This isn't good enough. It's not up to scratch.
"This is an embarrassment, it's sending out the wrong message.
"We need to do something about it."
Another who suffered after raising concerns about care services...
..is calling on the Welsh Government to hold a full inquiry...
..into Delyth Jenkins's case.
We need to look at this in detail and learn lessons from this case.
This could apply to any council.
I think nationally and locally, it needs to be looked at in detail.
There needs to be an official inquiry into this case.
We requested an interview...
..with the Government's Deputy Health Minister, Gwenda Thomas.
Our request was refused.
The Government says it can't discuss individual cases.
A spokesperson added that the Government understood...
..that Carmarthenshire County Council was responding to the report...
..and it would be inappropriate to comment further.
Despite leaving a good job and pension scheme...
..Delyth Jenkins is content that she has done the right thing.
It takes strength and bravery to take a complaint about injustice...
..to employers, according to one who has been through the experience.
She's got integrity and she's got courage.
She'll stand up for what's right and speak out and that's not easy.
People like Delyth should be treasured.
They shouldn't be treated as she has been.
Delyth Jenkins isn't sure she'd have the strength...
..to make a similar complaint again, but she is convinced she was right...
..and her only choice was to challenge the council...
..and draw attention to the suffering of a disabled woman...
..and couldn't speak for herself.
This has had an effect on me personally.
I've lost trust in people, but more than that...
..I feel deep pity for Sally and her family.
It's clearly destroyed a part of their lives.
S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.
Materion cyfoes o Gymru a'r byd. Current affairs from Wales and the world.