Report authors publish joint statement in response to BBC investigation

The authors of several safeguarding review reports investigating abuse and poor practice in services for people with learning disabilities have published a joint statement in response to the BBC investigation into abuse and safeguarding at services in Doncaster.

The BBC has been covering the abuse and neglect of children and adults within Hesley Group settings, including this article, published on 14th April, which details wide safeguarding failures at a Hesley Group home for young adults. A joint statement relating to this coverage has been published by Dr Margaret Flynn, Dame Christine Lenehan, and Dr Sheila Fish, who led the safeguarding reviews into Winterbourne View Hospital, Atlas Care Homes, and Cawston Park Hospital, the Hesley Group and Whorlton Hall Hospital.

The joint statement, collating the common issues and calling for meaningful systemic change, can be read here. It reflects on the multiple safeguarding scandals inservices for children and adults with learning disabilities and identifies the recurring themes found in reviews and investigations, highlighting that nothing is fixed. Individuals and organisations are invited to endorse the statement. 

Read the joint statement

If you agree with the joint statement and would like to endorse it,contact with the Coalition for Change, a group established after the Cawston Park Safeguarding Adults Review here.

Family Support Service

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this statement, you can call the Family Support Service on 0300 666 0126

Or email us at

We are open at the following times:

Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 9am – 3pm

We offer information about challenging behaviour to anyone who provides support to a child, young person or adult with a severe learning disability. We can also signpost you to other specialist organisations and sources of information.

Please note we are a small support service so you may not be able to get support straight away. We will support families with urgent concerns as a priority.

Professionals are also welcome to contact the CBF.


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