Helping young people reach their goals.
Tackling the abuse which took place at Winterbourne View
The government has now published its final report into Winterbourne View, which says what actions need to be taken to ensure that people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges get the support they need and stop being put at risk of abuse in places like Winterbourne View.
The actions have been laid out in a ‘concordat’ – which organisations with a role to play have been asked to sign, to show they are committed to making change happen.
Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, along with other voluntary organisations, including the National Forum and the National Valuing Families Forum have signed the concordat. Our role is to hold all those who have signed the concordat to account.
Key actions in the report
The report commits the government to a programme of change, which will be led by a national team. The programme aims to reduce the number of people with a learning disability who are being sent away to assessment and treatment units like Winterbourne View.
The report outlines 60 actions to transform services and the ways that people with a learning disability receive support and care. Among its actions are:
- A commitment to move anyone inappropriately being cared for in a hospital to community-based support by June 2014.
- Bringing forward plans to hold the senior managers, directors and board members of care organisations to account for the safety and quality of care that their organisation provides by spring 2013.
- Introducing high quality care and support services in all areas by 2014, including production of joint plans to ensure all people with learning and behaviour that challenges receive care and support that meets best practice.
- Issuing new guidance on the use of restraint.
- Involving people with a learning disability and their families in decisions about care and support.
The Department of Health will report on progress by December 2013.
What Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation think of the report
We welcome that the Government has listened to families and campaigners and committed to a national programme of change. But words are not enough.
To achieve this, commissioners in local government and the health service must take urgent, joint action to develop local services, provide support to children and families from early on, and ensure that no one else is sent away. The many hundreds of people with a learning disability who are still far from home, in institutions like Winterbourne View, must now be able to quickly return to their communities, to be close to their loved ones.
The report and concordat are a commitment to make this happen. The Government will be judged on whether change takes place across the country, with vulnerable people with a learning disability finally getting the support they need, close to home.
Thank you to everyone who took action
We have been campaigning over the last year to make sure the government takes action to stop abuse happening and enable people to return home from institutions like Winterbourne View. The government’s final report is an important first step. Thank you to the thousands of you who contacted your MP and the Minister, calling for action. This is just the start of getting the changes needed- we’ll keep you updated on progress and what actions you can take.
Read our campaign report
Out of sight is a campaign report by Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and tells the stories of James, Chrissy, Joe, Emmanuel and Victoria. In the report, their families talk about the terrible neglect and abuse their loved ones have experienced in institutions like Winterbourne View, often far away from home.
Out of sight was launched one year on from the BBC’s Panorama programme which exposed shocking abuse of people with a learning disability at Winterbourne View, an assessment and treatment unit near Bristol.
In response to this, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out inspections of 145 assessment and treatment units and care homes for people with a learning disability. Shockingly, their report showed that half of all services were not meeting essential standards around care and welfare and protecting people from abuse.
What happened at Winterbourne View, the inspections carried out by the CQC, and our campaign report Out of sight show that people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges are too often left isolated and at risk of abuse in some institutions. Urgent action is needed to change this.
- Read the government's final report on Winterbourne View and easy read version.
- Read the government's concordat and easy read version.
- Read the IHAL report and press release on assessment and treatment units and other specialist inpatient care for people with learning disabilities.
- Read Out of sight - full version and easy read. To order a hard copy of the report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7696 6900
- Download our policy paper to find out more about what changes are needed and why.
- Read the CQC report of its inspections of 150 services for people with a learning disability.
Read the NHS Review of the commissioning of care and treatment at Winterbourne View.
Read the transcript of the MP debate on 'Abuse of people with learning disabilities' which took place on 3 September.
Tell us your story
We want to hear more stories about the support people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges are getting. If you want to share the experience you or someone you know has had, whether good or bad, please email email@example.com
Support and advice for families
If you are worried about the care of a loved one and need support or advice, call Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 or the Challenging Behaviour Foundation on 0845 602 7885.
If you are considering a support provider for your son or daughter, there are a number of questions you could ask to help you decide if they would be suitable, including specific questions about how behaviour is managed. See the Challenging Behaviour Foundation’s information sheet.
If you work in the NHS or social care and have concerns relating to malpractice at work, you can contact the free Whistleblowing helpline on 08000 724 725 or visit www.wbhelpline.org.uk