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

Report calls for end to learning disability institutional services

Community-based support for people with learning disabilities is more effective, safer and cheaper than institutional care, and the government should put an end to institutional services, a report has claimed.

The report, called ‘There Is An Alternative’, by the Association for Supported Living (ASL), a not-for-profit organisation that represents groups that support people with learning disabilities, includes 10 case studies of people who moved from institutional services to supported living. In each case their quality of life improved dramatically, while costs fell significantly.

‘There Is An Alternative’ was prompted by the BBC Panorama programme that exposed alleged abuse of people with learning disabilities in an institution, Winterbourne View in Bristol, by staff employed to care for them.

Kim Foo, chair of the ASL said: “It is quite possible to provide high quality, cost effective alternatives to the restrictive, expensive institutional services that too many local authorities continue to purchase. We call on David Cameron and his government to finally put an end to the abuse of some of our society’s most vulnerable members.” Writing in the report’s foreword, Professor David Sines CBE said: “This inspiring report provides optimism for the future and exposes the deficits that continue to imbue existent specialist hospital services that perpetuate an institutional model of care delivery.”

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