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MPs debate abuse of people with learning disabilities

The mistreatment and marginalisation of individuals with a learning disability, placed in assessment and treatment units like Winterbourne view, was debated by MPs on the 3rd September.

Tom Clarke, who secured the debate, described the abuse as a national scandal and human crisis.

He called for the government to begin closing large assessment and treatment centres and urged commissioners to develop local services to support individuals to live in the community.

The MP suggested that the Department of Health investigates whether service providers put profit before care and said that funding needs to be reviewed to ensure there is no incentive for keeping people in large centres for long periods of time.

He criticised the Care Quality Commission (CQC), stating that it had failed through ‘light touch regulation’ and that it was presiding over ‘a shambolic and chaotic delivery of vital care services.’

In response, the former Care Services Minister, and Liberal democrat MP Paul Burstow joined Tom in condemning the events at Winterbourne and described a number of things that the Government had done in response to this, or were in the process of implementing. Principally this concerned the publication of an ‘interim report’ by the Department of Health in June which set 14 national actions.

A summary of the debate can be viewed here.  

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