Gowerton family fights autistic daughter's move to Brighton

  • 30 July 2014
  • From the section Wales

A Swansea family are fighting a health board's decision to transfer their 20-year-old autistic daughter to a specialist unit in Brighton.

Claire Dyer has lived in a Swansea unit since April 2012 but Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board wants her moved.

Her family have obtained an injunction and say a typical unit setting triggers her "severe challenging behaviour". A court hearing is to be held on Friday.

The health board will not comment as legal proceedings are under way.

Catherine Dyer, of Gowerton, said units in Northampton and Norfolk have been mentioned in the past for her daughter, who also has learning difficulties.

But on Monday it was decided she would be transferred to Brighton on Wednesday.

'Best care possible'

Mrs Dyer said her daughter is happiest when she is close enough to home to be picked up and spend time with her family.

She added that she fully understands her daughter needs care, but she believes Brighton is simply too far away, around a five-hour journey in the car, and will make her daughter's behaviour worse.

The family obtained an injunction on Tuesday and there will be a court hearing on Friday.

Mrs Dyer said: "Claire can have severe challenging behaviour. She can be violent, aggressive, destroy furniture, destroy property, be cruel and spiteful to staff, attack staff.

Image caption Claire Dyer has told her family she does not want to be far away from them

"When she has one of the these autistic meltdowns, the red mist descends and it is a different Claire to the one everybody knows."

She said her daughter had been left with a phobia of hospitals and mental health units having been "in and out of hospital since 2007".

Mrs Dyer said: "It's obvious they're triggers for her behaviours, which makes her worse. So unfortunately, they see the worst of Claire when she's in a place where she doesn't want to be."


More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for Claire to be kept in Wales, close to home.

It says she had been home or out with her family on 242 days out of 303 and says: "All she wants, as she was promised in Feb 2012, is a care home not far from us with all the activities she enjoys, and to be able to come home to us when she requests it."

A spokesperson for the National Autistic Society Wales said: "We are aware of Claire's situation and we have been working with the local health board on assessing her long-term needs.

"What is important is to ensure that Claire receives the best care possible."

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