Report published after independent Stella Maris inquiry

Published

A report has been published to review events that occurred at and around supported living accommodation, known as Stella Maris.

anthonydouglasInquiry report

Anthony Douglas CBE has published his report into events that occurred at and around a supported living accommodation, known as Stella Maris. Mr Douglas is chair of the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership, but he carried out this review in a personal capacity in order to maximise even greater degree of independent from the agencies involved. The report makes a series of recommendations.

Read the Stella Maris inquiry report here (PDF, 2MB). 

About the inquiry

On Wednesday 12 August 2020, Suffolk County Council launched an independent inquiry to review events that occurred at and around some supported living accommodation for vulnerable people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. This accommodation is called Stella Maris and is on the outskirts of Ipswich.

It follows concerns expressed by local residents, over 18 months, about noise, antisocial behaviour and the evolving situation at Stella Maris. Suffolk County Council’s Chief Executive commissioned this official independent inquiry to establish the facts and the lessons to be learnt from what happened.

This inquiry is being conducted by Anthony Douglas CBE, the independent chair of the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership. He will be carrying out his inquiry in a personal capacity to maximise an even greater degree of independence from the agencies involved.

The terms of reference for his inquiry will be looking at safeguarding broadly, including public protection. He will report by the end of September 2020, in recognition of the need to apply any learning from the events surrounding Stella Maris at the earliest possible opportunity.

All residents living near to Stella Maris are being written to directly. All official agencies involved in Stella Maris are supporting the inquiry.

Inquiry terms of reference

The purpose of the inquiry is to review the events at Stella Maris over a period of some 18 months, given the level of concern being expressed by a number of individuals and agencies which makes this a matter of public interest.

The priorities of the inquiry will be as follows:

  1. To establish a chronology of relevant facts, incidents and processes – ‘the Stella Maris chronology’
  2. To understand the daily lived experience of the tenants during the period under review
  3. To understand the daily lived experience of the residents during the period under review
  4. To investigate the actions of all professionals from a lessons-learnt perspective
  5. To make findings and recommendations covering all levels i.e., individual agency practice, multi-agency practice, national policy (where relevant)

Inquiry methodology

  1. To meet with the tenants concerned (with their support worker/social worker/care manager)
  2. To meet with the residents concerned
  3. To meet with the lead professionals involved
  4. To meet with the politicians involved
  5. To examine the relevant records held by each agency involved
  6. Finally, to meet with the senior managers of those agencies where there are clear lessons to be learnt