Call for care closures after 260 reports of neglect and abuse
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Call for care closures after 260 reports of abuse
Two disability charities have told the Government it must start closing large assessment and treatment units after a new report highlights 260 cases of abuse and neglect following the Winterbourne View scandal.
Last year, the BBC’s Panorama programme broadcast undercover filming of staff at the privately-run Winterbourne View assessment and treatment centre (pictured), as they physically abused residents.
Now a new report published by Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation reveals the charities have received 260 reports from families concerned that loved ones with a learning disability are being neglected or abused in institutional care.
The incidents reported include physical assault, sexual abuse, withdrawal of food and water and the overuse of restraint by physical and medical means.
The charities say hundreds of people with learning disabilities are living in institutions similar to Winterbourne View - often miles away from home, leaving them at risk of neglect - and warn that over half of the residents remain there for two years or more. Such institutions are only intended to provide short-term specialist treatment.
After the Winterbourne View expose, one housing association insisted the scandal could have been avoided with a third-party monitoring the welfare of the residents.
MacIntyre Housing Association condemned the ‘pile ‘em high, look after ‘em cheap’ method of care shown in the documentary and said organisations like MacIntyre can act as "advocates for residents in these and other circumstances".
Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, said: “We fear that unless the government commits to a strong action plan to close large institutions and develop appropriate local services for people with a learning disability, there is a very real risk that another Winterbourne View will come to light.”
It wants the closure programme completed in three years.
The Care Quality Commission’s recent inspection programme of 145 hospitals and care homes for people with a learning disability revealed that half of services failed to meet essential care and safeguarding standards.