Category Archives: Learning disability

Winterbourne View – 2 years on, we need you to ask some questions

The Campaign for a Fair Society welcomes the recent joint statement on 2 years post Winterbourne http://bit.ly/11mks1V. It is encouraging to see the Minister for Care, Norman Lamb, committing to name & shame those local authorities not making progress against the commitments made nationally that should lead to all individuals receiving personalised care & support in appropriate community settings no later than 1 June 2014.

However, we believe that although local progress needs to be monitored, as a national strategy more needs to be done at a national level to ensure success.  1 area that highlights this is the requirement for all individuals currently living in out of area placements to have had an assessment to establish whether the placement is suitable by June 2014. Our question is how is the quality of these assessments being monitored & is there an agreed national standard for them?

Likewise, at a time of unfair cuts & a squeeze on local authority funding, authorities are being asked to achieve more for less.  The ability to think innovatively is being impaired by the constant drive to lower the costs of local social services. We believe there are national directives & strategies which would be beneficial, namely: ensuring funding follows individuals through transition & back ‘home’.

We know that services such as Winterbourne View not only provide very poor outcomes, they are expensive.  There has been a commitment for ‘pooled’ health & social care funding, this needs to happen.  Ring fencing of current spending on ‘out of area’ placements, could facilitate innovation leading to future savings.

Housing is a real issue.  In some areas social housing & housing stock that would provide the variety of service models needed just don’t exist.  See David’s story  http://bit.ly/15jUOK9. If there is nowhere for individuals to move to, how will the June 2014 deadline ever be met? A national approach to delivering on housing stock is essential to achieving success.

Competitive tendering for local care services, driven more & more by cost, means that innovation & partnership working are harder to achieve.  Likewise, short term contracts lead to short termism & an inability for partnerships to develop. A clear message from government on this matter would be beneficial.

Over the coming months the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme is asking local areas to complete a stocktake of progress.  The purpose is to enable local areas to assess where they are & share this nationally.  It is also intended to enable local areas to identify what help & assistance they require from the JIP & identify where resources can best be targeted. The Department of Health will publish a progress report later this summer, setting out how well the sector is meeting the milestones & providing further checks to make sure that the number of people in assessment & treatment centres continues to go down.

The Campaign is getting ready to respond to this report, we need campaign members to help:

Please write to your local M.P. & ask:-

  1. How have the quality of the assessments carried out on the 2,300 people in out of area placements been monitored?
  2. How has it been ensured there is no vested interest in continuing in patient care by the assessor?
  3. How many of the people reviewed have been recommended to move into their local community & how many remain in out of area placements?
  4. How many of the former Winterbourne View patients have been moved into community settings near their families?

Please share any responses you receive from your M.P. to help the Campaign to continue to raise awareness & keep this firmly on the agenda.

Charities and community groups hit by cuts

>A new report produced by False Economy identifies cuts to charities and community groups throughout the country. 

These cuts remove support and services used by some of the most vulnerable in society. The report has been compiled using Freedom of Information responses provided by local authorities.

The list of charities facing funding cuts includes:

  • 112 adult care charities
  • 142 elderly-related charities
  • 382 children’s and young people-related charities
  • 151 disability-related charities.

For more information and to download the report:


Visit the False Ecoconmy web site


TUC coverage of the report