National ‘tsar’ Smith sets out her agenda

Staff working with people with learning difficulties need more training to help prevent abuse, Nicola Smith, the government’s co-director for learning disabilities, told Community Care this week. In an exclusive interview, Smith said staff needed to learn better ways of communicating with people who were unable to communicate verbally, and offer access to advocacy services.

Smith is making her first visit to an NHS residential care unit this week to begin monitoring the move of around 3,000 people with learning difficulties out of NHS accommodation into the community.

“Some NHS accommodation is not fit to live in and people have to share and have no choice over who they share with,” she said.

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