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

Sir Stephen Bubb on the future of Winterbourne View

The philanthropist Samuel Gridley Howe, in the mid-19th century, told of the evils of life in an institution. He wrote of how “all such institutions are unnatural, undesirable and very liable to abuse. We should have as few of them as possible, and those few should be kept as small as possible. The human family is the unit of society.” When Sir Stephen Bubb penned his report ‘Winterbourne View — Time for Change’ in 2014, it was riven through with Howe’s anti-institutional philosophy. He used Howe’s words in the foreword to his groundbreaking report and called them an “essential truth”.


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