We’ve been providing crisis communications support for The Fremantle Trust, a registered charity and non-profit organisation providing support for older people and adults with learning disabilities.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had carried out an inspection of one of its care homes, which highlighted significant failings.

With nine other care homes in operation – most rated by the CQC as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ – plus a number of additional services supporting more than a thousand people in total, it was vital for the Trust to defend its reputation.

Publication of the CQC report was looming and it brought us in to help.

Appropriate position

Our first action was to get a swift understanding of the situation.

We then worked with the Trust’s Chief Executive and Marketing & Communications Manager to define an appropriate position for the organisation, agreeing that it would take full responsibility for the situation and apologise unequivocally to everyone affected.

It was also imperative to explain how the organisation was determined to learn from the situation.

We drafted a statement to communicate this, and developed a ‘hostile Q&A’ to help the Trust respond to the tough questions which would inevitably come its way.

Media management 

We also developed statements for the journalists who were investigating the issue.

Press articles had already started to appear prior to our involvement – but with no comment included from the Trust, which gave the false impression that it was unwilling to respond.

We helped to develop comments for these – and for the subsequent stories which ran when the CQC published its report – to ensure the Trust’s position was clearly put forward and incorporated in the media reports.

Magic wand 

None of this, of course, was a magic wand to resolve the care home’s shortcomings, nor to make the reputational issue disappear. But it showed the Trust was doing the honourable thing – taking clear responsibility and appropriate action, and placing a high priority on the wellbeing of the residents within its care.

Lee-Anne Macdonnell, Fremantle Trust Marketing & Communications Manager, said:

“The support provided by Tariq from TK Associates was invaluable. He was quickly able to understand the circumstances and provided us with guidance and support to help us manage the delicate situation confidently.

“During the time we worked with Tariq, it really felt like he was part of the team – and I would certainly call on his services again.”


See more on our crisis communications services, and call Tariq on 07833 336 271 if we can help you manage a reputational issue.