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Liz responds to latest report on Winterbourne View

After the appalling scandal at Winterbourne View, Ministers promised to move people with learning disabilities out of Assessment and Treatment Units and into the community by 1st June 2014.

Yet the latest report on Winterbourne View shows that 2,600 people are still stuck in these units far away from their families and friends. More people are actually entering these units than leaving them.

This failure is a total disgrace.

People with learning disabilities and their families don’t want yet another review, they want action.

Ministers should now set a clear, two year deadline for moving people out of hospital and into the community. People with learning disabilities and their families should also be guaranteed the right to have a personal budget for their care, backed up with high quality advocacy and support. This would fundamentally shift power into their hands. A specific individual in NHS England must also be identified as responsible for delivering change.

Without clear deadlines for action, more fundamental ways of empowering service users, and much stronger lines of accountability this review risks gathering dust alongside all the others.

You can read more about Winterbourne View, and what really needs to change to improve care and support for people with learning disabilities, in a speech I gave at the Learning Disability Today conference here:

Liz Kendall MP’s speech at Learning Disability Today 27 Nov 2014