Most Winterbourne residents remain in hospitals

The "vast majority" of the residents of Winterbourne View have been placed in other learning disability hospitals, despite overwhelming sector opposition to the use of such facilities.

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The “vast majority” of the residents of Winterbourne View have been placed in other learning disability hospitals, despite overwhelming sector opposition to the use of such facilities.

In May BBC Panorama screened footage of abuse at the hospital in Bristol, which was closed down on 24 June and the residents moved out.

The strategic health authority in the area, NHS South West, confirmed that the “vast majority of NHS patients from the South West who were at Winterbourne View have been transferred to other hospitals in England”.

“This has been done with great sensitivity, given their vulnerability and requirements,” a spokesperson added.

Last month 86 experts and organisations wrote to prime minister David Cameron urging him to intervene to bring about the closure of all learning disability hospitals.

Anthea Sully, director of the Learning Disability Coalition, said it was not a good sign that people had been moved to other hospitals.

“One of the people in the programme was able to return to his family who were very positive and happy,” she said. “It begs the question that surely the majority of people with the right support should be living with their families in the community.”

However, David Congdon, head of policy at Mencap, said the problem was rooted in a lack of investment in community services, which limited non-institutional care.

“If really good facilities were available elsewhere I suspect they would not have needed to go to those hospitals,” he said.

Jim Mansell, emeritus professor of learning disabilities at the University of Kent and an expert on learning disability and challenging behaviour, backed Congdon’s view.

He said: “The question now is how long will it take each of these primary care trusts and adult social care departments to develop the kind of individualised package that will get these people back home?

“Have they set themselves targets and have they started the process of person-centred planning?”

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