Spectrum chief executive takes time away after investigations into management and care home failings

Following a slew of negative CQC reports, Spectrum chief executive Mary Simpson is “taking some time away” from the specialist care provider for autistic adults and children.

After the commission’s latest inspection in May reported that the charity’s home in St Erme, Truro, was “inadequate”, chairman of trustees Nick Tostdevine emailed patients’ loved ones announcing that Simpson was taking time away.

The letter also mentioned ongoing investigations into the organisation by the Charity Commission.

The email read: “Dear parents and significant others, Mary Simpson as of Tuesday, August 2, 2022, is taking some time away from the organisation. In the interim, the senior leadership team will be continuing without a chief executive role. As you will be aware there have been a number of concerns raised in the press and CQC about the charity’s performance. We are seeking assistance on this from Cornerstones Care Solutions.

“Ongoing investigations are being undertaken to move forward and remedy issues identified. We fully appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone involved.”

“We can confirm Mary Simpson is taking some time away from the charity for personal reasons. Whilst she is away from the organisation, our senior leadership team, alongside the support of our specialist care consultants and board of trustees, will continue to lead the organisation with a clear brief to follow the action plan addressing the areas that require improvement, which has been created in partnership with Cornwall Council and the Care Quality Commission.

“We would like to reassure the people we support, their families and our staff, that their health and wellbeing continues to be our number one priority.”

Formed around 50 years ago by a group of parents from Cornwall to support their children with autism, the charity aims to provide vital services that were not otherwise available. However, former staff at the homes have reported long shifts and “filthy” homes, leading to the Charity Commission announcing a formal investigation against Spectrum opening in July, with claims of inaction on the subsequent CQC reports.

Date Published: August 4, 2022