Providers need up-front funds

Poor quality care continues to be swept under the rug for people with learning disabilities.

Saturday, 2nd February 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 10:37 am

The number of children with a learning disability or autism detained in institutions has more than doubled since 2015.

We challenge the NHS’ explanation that this is due to changes in data collection – we’ve heard far too many stories of people being restrained to believe it.

For far too long, people with learning disabilities have been unnecessarily detained in institutions, denied access to the quality of care they deserve.

The steps taken to reduce institutionalisation since Winterbourne have made only minor progress.

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A lack of clarity around leadership and accountability means the fate of thousands of people trapped in institutions lies in a delicate balance.

Unfortunately, sufficient funding from local authorities is a pipedream until pressures on social care budgets have been resolved – for which we look to the much-delayed social care green paper.

The NHS England long-term plan does little to convince us that the needs of the people trapped in institutions will be met.

This is simply not good enough, especially when we know what the solutions are.

We need to radically change the approach.

We urgently look to the Government to ring-fence funding to develop community services that fully meet the needs of the people they support.

Many good providers and individuals are ready and waiting to provide this, but they need up-front funding.

Until this becomes a reality, we will continue to go around in circles.

Alicia Wood

Head of Public Affairs at Dimensions