What we asked for

  1. People with a learning disability and their families must have access to the support they need to live a good life. Failing them will lead to families reaching crisis point and society will face huge avoidable costs.
  2. There must be enough funding in the care system to ensure that everyone who needs support gets it.
  3. People with a learning disability must get the right support in their local community, so they can have a safe home and live well, and not be sent to places like Winterbourne View.

Key stats

  • Thousands of people with a learning disability are living in units like Winterbourne View, many for years, at a cost of around £500m a year.
  • For every £1 spent on support for people with moderate care needs, £1.30 will go back to the NHS, local and central government because people with a learning disability and their families are better supported, need less hospital treatment, and are able to access the community and employment.
  • 8 out 10 family carers have reached, or are close to reaching, breaking point due to a lack of short breaks.

Ann and Simon's story: social care

Simon spent 15 months at Winterbourne View where he was abused and neglected. Now Simon is free, living independently and his care costs half as much. Listen to his story.

Hear from Ann and Simon

Social services would not fund the level of support he needed, so things got worse and worse.

When Simon was 18 he was living in a small care home near to our house and was a well-known and loved part of the community. But social services would not fund the level of support we needed, so things got worse and worse for Simon and he was sent to an assessment and treatment unit.

Suddenly life for our family, changed forever. The staff there didn’t understand him and said he was dangerous. They were physically restraining him numerous times a day, he had never been restrained before. His behaviour deteriorated quickly. They were completely unable to cope with him. This was when he was sectioned and sent to Winterbourne View.

Simon spent 15 months in Winterbourne View where he suffered abuse and neglect that BBC’s Panorama programme exposed. He has never been the same since. After this ordeal, his old home welcomed him back with open arms and Simon was able to return to the community he loved. It was an unbelievably happy occasion. However, when Simon came home his behaviour was different. He was visibly more stressed and frustrated. We needed to come up with a solution to make Simon feel in control and safe again.

We worked with the care home and Simon got his own flat attached to the home where he could have his own space and the support he needs. His staff have learnt to manage his challenging behaviour in an amazing way – they keep their training up-to-date and they never physically restrain him.

I don’t see how sending someone with Simon’s needs away to a unit can ever be justified. There is not even a ‘money’ argument – Simon’s package of care now costs about half as much as it did for him to be in Winterbourne View. Simon is now safe and living a full life. It is peace of mind for me to know he is not at risk anymore.

Paul and James' story

8 out of 10 family carers have reached, or are close to reaching, breaking point due to lack of short breaks. Short breaks help keep families, like James's, together. But they are threatened with cuts.

"We reached crisis point. Without our short breaks service, we'd no longer be able to care for our son.”

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