Dan Scorer, Head of Policy at the learning disability charity Mencap, said: 

“Families have repeatedly raised the alarm over the mistreatment ​and abuseof their loved ones trapped in inpatient units. And despite the Government promising to get people out of these hospitals following the abuse uncovered at Winterbourne View a decade ago, there have been over 9,000 admissions since 2015 – equivalent to four a day. Behind these numbers are people whose ​human rights are at serious risk.   

“We welcome the care regulator taking decisive action to safeguard people, stop abuse and close this failing unit, but it is simply unacceptable that people with a learning disability and autistic people have again been failed by a system that should be protecting them.

“The Government must treat this scandal with the urgency that’s needed and publish its long-awaited strategyas soon as possible to drive the change that is so desperately needed. And the Government’s ​repeatedly delayedsocial care reforms must come with significant fundingso people with a learning disability can get the support they need in their community – instead of being locked away in modern-day asylums.”

CQC report’s is available here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-9827720615


More information about Mencap’s campaigning around the Transforming Care programme can be found here: https://www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-mencap/governments-broken-promise-transform-care


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: media@mencap.org.uk or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).         

Notes to editors:   

About Mencap     

There are approximately 1.5 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’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email helpline@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;    
  • Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;     
  • 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.