CQC: Personalisation lacking in Winterbourne-style services

Many learning disability hospitals and care homes are failing to provide person-centred care, the Care Quality Commission has found in its national review triggered by the Winterbourne View case.

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Many learning disability hospitals and care homes are failing to provide person-centred care, the Care Quality Commission has found in its national review triggered by the Winterbourne View case.

The regulator is inspecting 150 such services to identify how far the failings uncovered at Winterbourne View are replicated across the system of care for people with learning disabilities and complex needs.

An analysis of the first 40 reports found services were often not based on service users’ individual needs.

“We have found that too often people are not involved in the development of their care plans,” said national project lead for the learning disability review Bernadette Hanney. “And often those care plans lack detail about the person’s preferences, which can have an adverse impact on the quality of care provided.”

Specific issues included care plans reflecting what staff would do for residents rather than focusing on users’ choices, not being accessible to patients, not being written in plain English or not setting goals for the residents.

Service users also lacked access to activities, while in some cases planned activities were not delivered because of a lack of staff, said Hanney.

The regulator published the latest 20 reports from its review today. It is assessing services against essential standards on safeguarding and the care and welfare of service users. Of the 20:

  • One service had major concerns with both standards and a further two had one major and one moderate concern.
  • Just four were fully compliant with the standard on care and welfare and seven were fully compliant with the standard on safeguarding.

The CQC inspections are one part of the response to Winterbourne View, a learning disability hospital run by Castlebeck Care where alleged abuse was uncovered by an undercover BBC Panorama investigation last year.

A serious case review is also taking place, while 11 people have been charged with ill-treating or neglecting patients under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Department of Health is also conducting an overarching review, which will present recommendations for reforming care for this client group.

“These post-Winterbourne reviews are providing a strong justification for moving away from institutional care towards developing local services for local people,” Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation said in a response to today’s CQC reports. “It is crucial the government ensures these changes are made to reduce the likelihood of the abuses seen at Winterbourne View happening again.”

Read the full story on Winterbourne View

Learn about how we can better safeguard adults in residential settings at Community Care’s forthcoming conference on protecting adults at risk.

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