Following the Winterbourne View inquiry, NHS England agreed to “review all current hospital placements and support everyone inappropriately placed in hospital to move to community-based support as quickly as possible, and no later than 1 June 2014”. 

Out of a total of 2,577 peopleatients with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges in assessment and treatment units, only 260 have a movingtransfer date, of which 172 are before 1 June 2014.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive at Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive at The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said: 

It is extremely concerning that one year after the programme to move people out of places like Winterbourne View and back to their communities, more than 2,300 people with a learning disability and behaviours that challenge are still in these institutions. The lack of progress to meet the June deadline is shocking and unacceptable.

We are told that this failure to return people to their communities is owing to ‘clinical decisions’. We know that too often these decisions are made through the lack of a thorough understanding of learning disability and behaviour that challenges, and also a lack of confidence amongst professionals that the right services actually exist in local areas to support someone. 

These should never be reasons to keep vulnerable people trapped in institutions, away from their families and at real risk of abuse. We call for an urgent independent review of every single decision to deny someone the opportunity to live in the community.


* NHS England data on transfer dates for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviour that

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 6950 or email

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.

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

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.