Jan Tregelles, CEO of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, CEO of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, comment:

We welcome the Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb’s announcement today on the changes to the Joint Improvement Board tasked with overseeing the programme to resettle people from in-patient institutions like Winterbourne View. The Minister has reaffirmed that this important work requires strong leadership and management, and has given his personal commitment to ensuring this happens.

It is over two years since the BBC exposed the shocking abuse of people with a learning disability at Winterbourne View and it is unacceptable that the circumstances of all 48 people who lived there are still not known. We are frustrated and concerned by this – as well as the wider lack of progress in ensuring that over 3,000 people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges are properly supported to leave in-patient institutions, like Winterbourne View, and return to their local communities.

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation recently met with the Care Minister, Norman Lamb, and called on him to take urgent action to address this situation. We believe the Government, NHS and local authorities owe this to the victims and families of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, and thousands of others in in-patient institutions. We will continue to support work to make the changes needed and to challenge when progress is slow.

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For more information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, contact the Mencap Press Office, on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk.

About Out of sight

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.

Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation are two of the voluntary organisations who were asked to sign a Concordat agreement with the Department of Health, to hold the government to account.

The charities will continue to work to ensure people with learning disabilities and their families have a strong voice in all of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme work, as well as providing support to families fighting to bring their loved ones back closer to home.

Read more: http://www.mencap.org.uk/campaigns/take-action/out-sight

About Mencap

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

www.mencap.org.uk  

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk

About The Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation provides information, support and training around challenging behaviour associated with severe learning disabilities, and leads the ‘Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group’ which seeks to influence policy and practice nationally on behalf of individuals who challenge and their families.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation was founded in 1997 by Vivien Cooper, parent of a son with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging. Today the Challenging Behaviour Foundation is in regular contact with over 5000 families and professionals across the UK. There are an estimated 30,000 individuals in England with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging.

For more information visit www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk