Care Project administrators refute abuse allegations

With a caller to a popular radio program leveling allegations of ill-treatment and torture of one of the residents at the CARE Project, Matron of the institution, Nurse Juliet De Labastide has cleared the air where that is concerned.

The controversy was sparked on Monday (November 20th) morning, just after 9.00 am when Percival Simon, a frequent caller to ZDK Radio, made some stinging remarks about abuse and torture being meted out to a particular resident at the CARE Project.

During his conversation with James “Sly J” Simon, the caller alleged that a broomstick was broken into three places after it was used to beat the patient and that the said sticks were quickly disposed of to cover up the evidence. He also alleged that the Care Project management team is sometimes reluctant to send the residents to Mount Saint John Medical Centre for regular checkups for fear that the physical abuses may be discovered.

But Nurse De Labastide countered quickly, repudiating the caller and describing his allegations as blatant lies and a misrepresentation of the true nature of the work that is conducted on a daily basis at the facility.

“Nothing is ever at its best and there is always room for improvement, but the beating of residents or clients is not something that will ever be condoned by myself or the operations manager who is here and who can also address this issue.”

She noted that major strides have been made in the past few years regarding the standard of care at the facility.

The Matron disclosed that the Care Project now has a resident doctor assigned to it, unlike earlier years when special arrangement had to be made by the Ministry of Health to provide medical care to the institution. She also revealed that residents with psychiatric and neurological issues are referred to the out-patient clinics either at Mount St John’s or Clarevue.

Nurse De Labastide was supported by her assistant, Walton Edwards, who is the Care Project’s Operations Manager. He expressed the view that no matter how good things are, there will always be those detractors who will only see the worst.

“It’s amazing that when things happen that people will look for the worst. In terms of the upgrade, we can remember when we used to get our food from what remained from the Fiennes Institute or what it is that they could afford to give us. Now we have our own budget that we source our food from, we have our own budget in terms of where we get all our equipment and other things that are necessary for the upgrade of the Care Project,” noted Edwards.

In recent months, the Care project has been the recipient of major donations from the Antigua Village Homeowners Association, Antigua Village Resort and the Antigua and Barbuda Police Credit Union…

Also, in October of this year, after months of planning and negotiating, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a modern state of the art facility which will become the new home for the residents at the Care Project. The new home is a consequence of the partnership between the government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Maria Holder Memorial Trust and residents of Jumby Bay Resort.

As of November 2017, the occupancy level at the Care Project is twenty-three (23), with eleven being full-time residents and twelve clients who use the facility on a daily basis.