Learning disability charities Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation have called for the Government, NHS and care providers to do more to ensure real change happens for people with learning disabilities in residential care.
This follows the release of new figures from NHS England which revealed that of the 48 former residents of Winterbourne View, 14 are still living in residential health settings. This is more than two years after the BBC Panorama documentary revealed widespread abuse at the assessment and treatment centre, for which 11 former employees were convicted of a range of offences.
In a joint statement, Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive and founder of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said: “Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation continue to work with families whose loved ones remain hundreds of miles away in hospital, despite their on-going efforts to bring them closer to home.
“Winterbourne View is just the tip of the iceberg; we know that 1,317 people in health settings have been put on registers by Clinical Commissioning Groups to have their care reviewed. However, we are deeply concerned that the registers only record a fraction of the people whose situations need to be scrutinised. Previous reports indicated that about 3,500 people were living in health settings, including assessment and treatment units similar to Winterbourne View.
“The Government, NHS and care providers must work harder to demonstrate their actions are leading to real change for people with a learning disability and their families.”