CBF Welcomes the Lenehan Review

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation and Mencap have today welcomed the publication of the key review by Dame Christine Lenehan of the Council for Disabled Children on children's services for people with a learning disability whose behaviours may challenge.

Our chief executive Vivien Cooper and Jan Tregelles CEO of Mencap said:

"Almost 6 years on from Winterbourne View it’s shameful that an effective, workable model of care for children with a learning disability and challenging behaviour is yet to be developed and rolled out. 

No one should have to spend their childhood in out of area inpatient settings where we know there is an increased risk of physical restraint, seclusion and the use of anti-psychotic medication. Yet this is the reality for many due to a system that sends children and young people in crisis to expensive and inappropriate settings rather giving them and their families good support earlier on.

This welcome report highlights the urgent need for agencies to stop “passing the buck” and to work together. All the stakeholders named in the report, from governmental organisations through local authorities, the education sector and healthcare providers, must now take responsibility to develop appropriate local support.

The current NHS England led closure programme to move people out of institutional settings and back to the community will only be successful if it stops children being placed in unit. This time next year, we don’t want to read another report explaining all the issues.  We know what good care looks like, there can be no more excuses for this failure”


Leo Andrade, mother of Stephen who was sent to an Assessment and Treatment Unit said:

“Stephen was meant to go to an inpatient unit for a period of “Assessment.” Instead he has remained stuck in these units and has become a different person. On the few occasions I can see Stephen he looks weak and skinny, he cries and begs me to take him home.

“For 4 years I have had to watch my son be subjected to the most excessive and worrying levels of anti-psychotic medication. My son does not need to be on anti-psychotic medication but he still gets given them. I have been promised discharge dates but they keep getting cancelled. I feel like I have run out of options to bring my son home and back to his community.”

“I know so many families like me who have to live with their loved ones being stuck in units and feel powerless to bring them home. Our children did nothing to deserve this but are being forgotten. This needs national attention to help bring our children home”.


To read an introduction to the review written by Christine Lenehan for our Paving the Way website and download a copy click here


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