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Charities Call for Urgent Review of Decisions to Keep Vulnerable People Institutionalised

Yesterday, NHS England published the first set of quarterly data prompted by the Winterbourne View Concordat aimed at getting better care for people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges.

Following the Winterbourne View enquiry, 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 people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges in assessment and treatment units, only 260 have a transfer 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.”

For more information please download the full press statement.

The NHS England data on transfer dates for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviour that challenges is available here.

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