Comment: People with learning difficulties abused in Cornwall

The official report on the widespread abuse of people with learning difficulties in Cornwall – both in institutions and the community – makes frightening reading. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age staff are hitting people and giving them cold showers.

People with learning difficulties who moved out of long-stay hospitals believed they had left all that behind. They were moved into houses they were promised would be their own homes, yet we are told staff routinely locked them in and took their money.
In recent years we’ve had Valuing People, the Pova list, adult protection committees, the No Secrets initiativeÉSo how is it that despite such strides people are still being tied to their beds?

The chances are that there are more examples of abuse besides Cornwall. Other investigations into the care of vulnerable adults are waiting to deliver their verdicts and similar failings might well be highlighted.

However, there are also many people working hard in learning difficulty services to improve clients’ lives. We must keep raising awareness and understanding to help create a climate where good practice is shared and people are not afraid to challenge abuse.

See Cornish abuse findings expose ‘lack of understanding’ of rights

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