Association for Supported Living (ASL) Response to Panorama
Members of The Association for Supported Living support around 30,000 people with learning disabilities and have a combined budget of approximately £1 billion. Our members were deeply shocked by the abuse at Winterbourne View and wanted to present an alternative, real life picture of what good community based support for people with challenging behaviour looks like, by collecting examples of such support already in existence within membership organisations.
We have currently collected a substantial number of good support examples which show, overwhelmingly, that person centred, individualised support to people with challenging behaviour is possible, effective and substantially cheaper than institutional services.
The Association for Supported Living (ASL) has written to every MP in the country calling for community-based supported living services to replace institutional services for people with learning disabilities.
The letter states that community-based support is more effective, safer and cheaper than institutional care. It references a recent edition of Panorama, which shows disabled people in an institution being abused by staff employed to care for them.
The ASL have published a report “There is an alternative” which demonstrates that people can live purposefully within ordinary homes, integrating closely within the context of their local neighbourhoods. Detailed in the report are the stories of ten people who were previously required to live in institutions because their behavior was deemed to be too challenging. They are all now living successfully in their own homes as tenants, supported appropriately by co-workers of their choice and paid for by their own income.
Kim Foo, chair of the ASL says:
“The message is simple and clear and unequivocal – there is another way – we are presenting to the Government evidence of a substantial number of alternatives to the abusive institution seen on Panorama in May.”
To find out more read the Guardian article “Should care be provided locally rather than in large institutional settings?”
For more information about the Association for Supported Living see:www.a-s-l.org.uk
Joint press statement with Housing Options
A joint statement by the Association for Supported Living and Housing Options on the Care Quality Commission’s Learning disability service inspection programme: National overview
Karyn Kirkpatrick, Chair of Housing Options says “we welcome the Care Quality Commission’s initiative of implementing a Learning Disability Services Inspection programme and the publication of this report ‘Learning disability services inspection programme: National overview’. However, the results are appalling and simply unacceptable in a civilized society. It’s shocking that overall levels of compliance were so low. We find it staggering that forty-eight per cent of all locations inspected were non-compliant with the outcomes for care and welfare of people who use services and safeguarding people who use services from abuse. The following issues now have to be addressed as a matter of urgency:
- half the locations inspected not meeting the required standards,
- people being fitted into services rather than services fitted around people,
- people being admitted to assessment and treatment services for disproportionately long spells of time,
- discharge arrangements taking too long to arrange,
- the urgent need for commissioners to review the care plans for people in treatment and assessment services,
- the urgent need to reduce the use of restraint, together with training in the appropriate techniques for restraint when it is unavoidable,
- we have to ask why Independent Healthcare services are only half as likely to achieve outcomes as NHS providers”.
Kim Foo, chair of the Association for Supported Living says “we have already presented the government and the Department of Health with solid evidence that cost effective high quality solutions are available in our report ‘There is an Alternative’. These are not one off examples, there are many, they are of high quality and cost up to £100,000 per year less than the previous institutional service. Housing Options and the ASL have over 150 members many of whom are already providing the sorts of services described in ‘There is an Alternative’. We call on the government as a matter of urgency, to compel commissioners to set a timetable for the provision of alternative, community-based services for all people. ASL and Housing Options are willing to help and will share our experience to anyone committed to developing community services like the ones described in the report. Services that, we assert, offer a level of care commensurate with what civilized society expects, and also save the country money.
To see the press release in full, click here.