Today (27 March) the Public Accounts Committee published a report with recommendations to improve the care given to people with a learning disability since the Winterbourne View Scandal in 2011.

The Committee acknowledged that the institutional model of care to be completely inappropriate and a closure programme of assessment and treatment units like Winterbourne View was announced to the Committee by Simon Stevens.

The Committee's report can be found here.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Viv Cooper, Chief Executive at the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said:

We welcome the Committee's report and recommendations, which highlight the key elements required to see progress on the delivery of meaningful change promised to people with a learning disability and their families over 3 years ago.

"In particular we look forward to seeing and being involved in the development of the closure programme Simon Stevens announced to the Committee, and welcome the news of additional 'dowry' funding he outlined to help get people out of inpatient settings.

"The Committee also makes important recommendations on the urgent need for NHS England to force local commissioners to develop new community services and for the Department of Health to mandate NHS England to develop pooled budgets between health and social care.

"Individuals must be empowered through funding that follows them when they are discharged into the community. This will remove disincentives for local commissioners so they develop the support, services and housing needed for people to move out of in-patient settings and return to their communities."

-ENDS-

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk.

Notes to editors

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

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.

People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.

Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.