Upholding the rights of children, young people and adults with a learning disability

Children, young people and adults will be supported to exercise their human rights (which are the same as everyone else’s) to be healthy, full and valued members of their community with respect for their culture, ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, sexuality and disability – Challenging Behaviour Charter

What actions need to be taken?


1. Bring together different sources of data to improve monitoring and safeguarding 

Reporting complaints, allegations, and concerns with services is one of the key ways of identifying safeguarding issues and abuse of people with a learning disability. However, there are currently a number of routes for reporting these. For example, they can be raised with the service directly; reported to the CQC; brought to the local authority; or taken to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, among others. 

Because these reports can be made to multiple places, it is difficult to capture a full picture of any concerns raised about a service. This could potentially result in issues being missed or dismissed, or an inability to identify patterns of concern due to not having all the data. 

We recommend the establishment of a central database that can collect complaints, allegations and concerns from different sources, and which can then be used to monitor services. We believe that this would improve safeguarding and should help identify any issues/abuses at an earlier stage. 

This recommendation resembles builds on a similar recommendation made in Professor Glynis Murphy’s second independent report on CQC’s inspections and regulation of Whorlton Hall, and also reflects the findings of ‘Safeguarding Children with Disabilities and Complex Health Needs in Residential Settings’, which was produced following the abuse of 108 children at residential settings operated by the Hesley Group.  

The Department of Health and Social Care needs to: 

  • Establish a central database that can collect complaints, allegations and concerns from different sources, bringing them together so that they can be monitored and analysed and so that any patterns can be identified 
  • This is likely to require the involvement of the Department for Education, NHS England, Ofsted, and CQC, among others 


We have worked to co-produce these actions and asks, building on years of work that has gone before it. We are happy to engage with policy makers at a local, regional, and national level about how we can get things right for people with a learning disability whose behaviour challenges. If you would like to talk about any of the actions in this plan, or any work you are planning on doing, please email