A learning Disabilities Commissioner should be appointed to promote, enhance and protect the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families in England

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sir Stephen Bubb, in his final report released yesterday, called on the government to appoint a Learning Disabilities Commissioner. He also stated that the challenges of reforming support for the vulnerable are larger than first thought.

Sir Stephen Bubb’s original report followed the failure of Government to address the abuses revealed by the Winterbourne View scandal. His recommendations in ‘Winterbourne View – Time for Change’ (Nov 2014)  suggested radical changes to the way the nation treats people with learning disabilities.

Sir Stephen Bubb reports that subsequent proposals (Oct 2015) to deliver these changes are based on over-optimistic assumptions and demands the appointment of a Learning Disabilities Commissioner.

The latest report, titled Time For Change - The Challenge Ahead, says some 3,500 vulnerable disabled people are still in institutions - 30%, or 900, more than had been thought. It suggests that supporting people in their own community will require 10,000 extra staff, who will need to be trained to an established standard.

With at least 1,300 people expected to move out of hospital care by 2019 the report also details the critical need to deliver housing for the vulnerable. It says that housing for people with learning disabilities should be exempt from proposed Housing Benefit caps. The report details how additional housing provision might be delivered.

Sir Stephen also draws attention to the hundreds of thousands of children with learning disabilities and the challenges this could present to a sustainable future. Sir Stephen calls for a ‘prevention revolution’. This would see coherent and targeted early intervention preventing the need for future costly acute responses and resources.

Given the size of these challenges and the failure to introduce a Charter of Rights, Sir Stephen says that nothing less than a Learning Disabilities Commissioner is required. The role would place a statutory duty on the holder to promote, enhance, and protect the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families in England and ensure the delivery of the reforms pledged by NHSE.

You can read the full report here: https://www.acevo.org.uk/sites/default/files/ACEVO_report_TCA_final_web.pdf

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Article Source: https://www.acevo.org.uk/news/winterbourne-view-time-change-report-launch