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Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation call for action

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation are calling on the Government to take strong action to end systemic poor care and abuse at large, institutional-style services for people with a learning disability.

The learning disability charities are concerned following the publication today of two official reports into services for people with a learning disability. The reports from the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health highlight continued failings to protect people in care from abuse. Both reports acknowledge that services must improve.

The charities are calling for the phased closure of large, institutional-style services for people with a learning disability, and their replacement by appropriate local services.

In a joint statement, Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring, and Challenging Behaviour Foundation chief executive Viv Cooper, say:

“One year on from Panorama’s undercover investigation into a private hospital for people with a learning disability, people continue to remain in large, out of town units for long periods of time, isolated and at risk of abuse and neglect.

“Action is needed to stop people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges being sent away to these services.

“The government’s proposals on local action will not be enough to create the systemic change needed. We are looking for a direct commitment from government to put in place a strong, practical action plan with clear targets when it publishes its final review in September.”

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation are calling for local areas to develop skilled long term support for people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges. Crisis situations for families can be avoided by a focus on prevention, early intervention and developing a skilled workforce. The charities believe that people should be able to access the support and services they need in their local area and live fulfilling lives within the community.

Today, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its report of 145 inspections of services for people with a learning disability, which found that nearly half the hospitals and care homes inspected did not meet essential standards of care and protecting people from abuse.

The Department of Health also today published its interim report on Winterbourne View. The final Department of Health review is expected in September 2012. 

To view the press release in full click here

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