Ladyman raises fears over services for people with learning difficulties

Community Care minister Stephen Ladyman is concerned about the
“growing number” of people with learning difficulties being placed
in independent sector hospitals rather than in the community,
writes Maria Ahmed.


Speaking at a conference this week, he said the move “flew in
the face” of good practice and accused local authorities of failing
to commission adequate community-based services.

While Ladyman acknowledged that progress had been made in the
closure of NHS long stay hospitals, he criticised councils for
flouting policies based on the Valuing People white paper.

He told the learning difficulty charity Association for Real
Change’s annual conference in Southport that local authorities were
choosing to “reinvent the long stay hospital by the back door,”
instead of following new practices.

Guidelines for commissioners include ensuring that individuals
are provided with services “as far as possible” in community rather
than residential settings, and be placed near to their homes and


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