Turning Point responds to the Winterbourne View – Time for Change report on ensuring people with learning disabilities that challenge are supported correctly

News item posted: 17 March 2017

The release of the Winterbourne View - Time for Change Report marks another step in the process of developing appropriate support for those people with learning disabilities who challenge services. However, there are a number of concerns that must be addressed before the recommendations of the report can be implemented. 

Fiona Ritchie, Turning Point's Managing Director for Learning Disability Services, responds to the report:

"Despite the horror of Winterbourne View, and subsequent determination to tackle the issues that the scandal exposed, there has been a collective failure of the learning disability  community, politicians and statutory provision  to effect the changes needed to reduce the number of people in assessment and treatment units across England . The Winterbourne View - Time for Change report on its own will not shift this problem forward but needs commitment, leadership and accountability to ensure change happens. 

"The report contains a number of laudable aspirations, not least in the area of getting the right  housing solutions but hopefully not ensuring more congregated living for those who do not wish this. Local Authority commissioners must be mandated to work in partnership with the NHS, have targets and be monitored to ensure they achieve them. People must be held accountable to ensuring change happens or we will be discussing this forever.

"Specifically, more thought must be given to preventing the admission of young people and children to inappropriate long-term accommodation. Such measures would reduce the chance of young people becoming institutionalised and developing entrenched negative behaviour patterns.  In addition, while new housing is absolutely necessary to ensure the long-term wellbeing of those with learning disabilities, newly built houses must be of appropriate size and configuration, so as not to force those who find it distressing to live communally to do so, and  to allow people to reach their potential and be as independant as possible, in as least restrictive environment and support as possible"