Winterbourne ViewBill Mumford, chief executive of learning disability charity MacIntyre, has been named as the new lead on the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme (WVJIP).

Following a 2011 BBC Panorama investigation into institutional physical and psychological abuse at the former Winterbourne View treatment unit in Bristol, the Department of Health (DH), NHS England and Local Government Association jointly launched a review into similar placements.

Mumford replaces Chris Bull, who left his part-time role leading the WVJIP in November to enable the appointment of a full-time programme director. Bull had combined the role with another as local government adviser to Public Health England. Mumford joins on an 18-month secondment.

Care and support minister Norman Lamb said: "The Joint Improvement Programme has a crucial role to play in transforming care for people with learning disabilities and or autism and challenging behaviour or mental ill health and making sure those who are able to can live in their own community with support by June 2014.

"We know that some progress has been made – but I am impatient to see real cultural change. There is still a long way to go. Bill Mumford will provide strong leadership at a critical time to drive this work forward and I welcome his appointment."

Lifelong experience in learning disabilities
Mumford joins the WVJIP based on his lifelong experience in the field of learning disabilities and the charity's position as a best practice provider within the sector including featuring in the DH's recent 'Learning Disabilities Good Practice Project'. He has called for all those in the sector to "work with more urgency and focus" to improve local support.

"Everybody should have hope for a good future and that must include people with learning disabilities who find themselves confined inappropriately in assessment and treatment units. As CEO of MacIntyre I have longstanding experience of the complexities that create barriers to best practice but also have direct experience of how to create better futures for people and their families. Our common endeavour must be to quickly restore confidence that this will be the norm."

While Mumford will continue to hold his non-executive position as the social care representative on the board of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, MacIntyre has covered his secondment with the appointment of Sarah Burslem, current head of adult services, as interim managing director.

John Berriman, chairman of MacIntyre, said “MacIntyre is very pleased to support this vitally important national initiative. We are therefore delighted to second Bill Mumford to the Department of Health.

"At the same time it is of course essential that MacIntyre does not miss a beat during Bill’s secondment so Sarah will support Bill and both provide continuity and also help lead the on-going operational development of MacIntyre. I know that Bill and Sarah will both do a tremendous job in their respective roles and both the Department and MacIntyre will be extremely well supported."