“There is a history of abuse scandals thathave been made public, such as those in Sutton and Merton, and Cornwall in2007″ said Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, responding to today’sstory about abuse uncovered by the BBC at a long stay hospital.
“Institutional care means that quite often people with a learningdisability live far away from friends and family who care for them, so there isno one to notice any disturbing behaviour,” he added.
However, last April the Department of Health revealed that just this kind ofprovision was still on the rise.It raised concernthen, because the government was pursuing a policy of moving peopleout NHS campus’.
“What weare doing is exchanging one group of people in an outdated setting for anothergroup of people in an outdated setting,” saidJames Churchill, then chief executive of the Association for Real Change.
That was then, now is worse. Earlier this year thegovernment disbandedits central learning disability leadership team. That’s the team whichfound there was increased use of these facilities, which is against the thrustof government policy.
It’s not terribly clear how that will continue.Without knowing what’s going on in the sector or with a dedicated team to leadchange people are right to be scepticalabout what improvements can really be achieved.
I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.