Prostitute claim denied by home

The chief executive of an Eastbourne care home has denied allegations that staff contacted prostitutes on behalf of residents.

Bosses at Chaseley, the home for disabled men and women on Eastbourne seafront, say claims made in national newspapers that staff contacted prostitutes on behalf of residents or arranged visits is “totally untrue” and has “sensationalised what is an important human rights issue for disabled people”.

Chief executive Sue Wyatt said on Wednesday, “The Chaseley Trust supports adults from the age of 18 with significant physical disabilities through residential, respite and day care, treatments and rehabilitation and as such, we are keen to ensure that our residents have the highest quality care plans which meet their individual needs and enable them to live life to the full.

“We are acutely aware of the rights of disabled people and where an individual expresses a wish to have a physical relationship and we can safely and legally support them with their partner, we will of course do so. But this is private and personal to the individual and not something that we would discuss in any detail in the media.”

Mrs Wyatt said trustees and management at Chaseley have no knowledge of sex workers visiting the building and added, “The Trust provides an excellent service to its residents and it is distressing and disappointing that an important issue relating to the fundamental human rights of disabled people should be misrepresented, trivialised and sensationalised in this way. The Chaseley Trust operates at all times to the highest standards, borne out by our record of compliance with the standards required by the Care Quality Commission.”

Mrs Wyatt also said support for the home, whose residents include a number of disabled ex-servicemen and women, had been flooding in. We have been very grateful for all the support we have received to date from the people of Eastbourne and many others who are familiar with and continually support the Chaseley Trust, and who know that the care we provide is second to none.”

Chasley has also been praised by the East Sussex Disability Association which campaigns for disabled people to achieve independence and control over their own lives. Chief executive Nick Tapp said yesterday (Thursday) comments made by him earlier in the week applied to a wide range of issues homes for disabled people might consider and these would apply in the provision of all kinds of support, not only for sex facilitation.

Mr Tapp said, “To be very clear, East Sussex Disability Association supports disabled people’s right to sexual expression and the right to safe help to achieve it.”*