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

Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme to focus on local areas

bill mumfordThe Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme (WVJIP) is to “regroup and refocus” on local issues, with a vision to ensure that everyone has a place they can call home, its new lead has said.

In a blog, Bill Mumford (pictured), who took over as WVJIP lead in January, said that a rigorous person-centred approach will be adopted by all parties, in all places and at all times. “We will work in a proactive, co-productive and collaborative way with individuals, families and national and local partners. We will adopt a project management approach and our activity will be targeted, pragmatic and solution-focused.”

Mumford added that everyone, with no exception, deserves a place to call home. The WVJIP’s vision is to ensure that the number of people with learning disabilities and autism in secure hospitals or assessment and treatment settings will permanently reduce. “At the same time local community-based support and early intervention will improve to the point it will become extremely rare for a person to be excluded from the right to live their life outside of a hospital setting.

“We intend to re-energise the programme, to re-establish the trust of individuals and families, provide direction and, by harnessing the evident goodwill across the sector, to create an unstoppable momentum for change; a momentum that will not only permanently reduce the numbers of people who are in-patients in assessment and treatment units but also create a lasting legacy of personalised, community-based support for individuals and families in crisis or on predictable pathways to local exclusion.”

Further reading: Learning disability charity CEO to lead Winterbourne View

Only 70 of the about 3,200 people with learning disabilities currently residing in high secure provision are thought to pose such risk to themselves or others that they need it, Mumford added. The remainder are “the proverbial round pegs who refuse to be put into a pre-determined square hole” who have been excluded from other places, such as day centres, and whose support arrangements have collapsed.

Progress made
Mumford added that progress is being made. Information from the Learning Disability Census and local area stocktakes has helped the WVJIP track the commissioning responsibility for each person, saying that 3,200 people across 152 areas, each with a robust discharge plan, must be possible.

To this end, the WVJIP has started its local engagement programme, working with 16 early adopter local areas, which are receiving in-depth support. Mumford added that further 19 will join by the end of April and all areas will eventually receive support proportionate to their need. “In addition, NHS England specialised commissioners have already started a regional programme of engagement with local area commissioners to improve coordination and remove the barriers for a successful discharge and reduce future admissions,” Mumford wrote.

The WVJIP has also published a Core Principles document aimed at helping commissioners to ensure service delivery that meets the needs of people with learning disabilities and/or autism who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour that challenges.

Further reading: Editor’s blog-Tragic death of Connor Sparrowhawk again highlights urgent need for reform

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