Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Charities call for more person-centred care

Learning disability charities have called for a move away from institutional care and towards more personalised services after care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that residential facilities often fail to provide patient-centred care (8th February 2012).

The CQC has now released 40 of its 150 inspection reports and, through brief analysis, said that many facilities do not provide care based on the individual needsof people using the services. In response, in a joint statement, Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation called for more local services to be developed: “It is extremely worryingthat 16 out of the latest 20 CQC reports of units inspected are not fully compliant with essential quality and safety standards, and that 13 of the locations were non-compliant on safeguarding ,leaving people with a learning disability at risk of abuse.”

These post-Winterbourne reviews are providing a strong justification formoving away from institutional care towards developing localservices for local people. It is crucial the Government ensures these changes are made to reduce the likelihood of the abuses seen at Winterbourne View happening again.” Meanwhile, Molly Mattingly, head of learning disability programmes at the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, called for more person-centred planning: “It is disappointing that after so many years talking about personalisation and the need for person-centred planning, it is still not embedded in care services. As usual there is a gulf between the rhetoric and policy and actual care delivery practiceon the ground. 

“Person-centred planning is key to ensuring thatevery individual with learning disabilities is being supported andtreated properly. Just because people have learning disabilitiesdoes not mean that they are not capable of being involved indecisions that affect their lives. Families and those who know andcare about people with learning disabilities are also important, but too often can be seen as “outsiders”. This is not helpful and maintaining relationships with family and friends should be a requirement in those cares services. 

“Having choice and controlallows for a better quality of life, as well delivering clear psychological benefits of empowering individuals to be directlyinvolved in their care decisions – decisions not taken for them butwith them. “However, if we are to see a real change and significant improvement in the delivery of effective care services and itsassociated benefits, it is essential that we see both a strongerrequirement on organisations and services to deliver person-centredapproaches, as well as appropriate training and support for healthand social care staff.”

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