Healthcare Commission to resume learning disability inspections

    The Healthcare Commission will continue to inspect specialist in-patient healthcare services for people with learning disabilities, after it exposed widespread poor standards and a lack of understanding of human rights last year.

    The 2007 audit covered 72 NHS trusts and 17 independent organisations but the Commission only managed to carry out inspections at 68 or the 89 organisations.

    In total, the Commission inspected 154 of the 638 individual services. But Fiona Ritchie, lead in learning disabilities at the Commission, said it had no plans to inspect all 638 services in 2008.

    These services support more than 4,000 people in long-stay hospitals, campus accommodation, acute assessment and treatment centres, short-break and secure facilities.

    Speaking at the Voice UK All Party Parliamentary Group meeting yesterday at the House of Commons, Ritchie said inspections at the remaining 21 organisations would start and end in 2008.

    In total, the Commission made 2,548 recommendations to improve standards of care and referred six services to local authorities for safeguarding issues in 2007. All of the services inspected have developed action plans, which are being monitored by the Strategic Health Authorities. 

    More information

    Healthcare Commission

    Voice UK

    Essential information on inspection and regulation

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