29 June: Congential heart disease information in easy read
Community Futures Kent, part of the Avenues Trust Group, has helped create an easy read version of a new ‘Adults living with congenital heart disease’ document from NHS Specialised Services. Mencap and the Down’s Heart Group also helped to check the document. Download the leaflet >
27 June: Australia: people with intellectual disabilities jailed indefinitely
Medical experts are appealing to the Government of the Northern Territory to address a law that sees mentally impaired people kept in jail indefinitely, without being convicted. Alice Springs has an acute lack of mental health facilities, so high-needs clients end up in jail. Four men are currently being held in the Alice Springs jail without being convicted of a crime and with no release date because they were deemed "unfit to plead". More > 26 June: Support for vulnerable defendants in the criminal courts
A new publication 'Fair Access to Justice?' launched by the Prison Reform Trust for frontline staff in the criminal justice system and the NHS, explains how people with a learning disability who have to appear in court as a victim or witness are given extra support or 'special measures' to help them understand and cope with the process. Download a free copy from their website >
25 June: Half of learning disability services failed to meet government standards
The Care Quality Commission publish the report of their inspection of 150 learning disability services announced in response to the abuse at Winterbourne View highlighted by the BBC's Panorama programme on 31 May 2011. Download the CQC Report
and find out more on their website.
The Department of Health today published an interim report containing new proposals to improve the quality and safety of services for people with learning disabilities. Find out more and download the report on the Department of Health website. Read BILD's response to these reports.
21 June: Indoor athletics success
The Great Britain Athletics Team, managed by the UK Sports Association, returned with 11 medals from the INAS European Athletics Championships in Gavle, Sweden, 12–18 June. Marcel Hodge (Leicestershire) raced to double gold in the 100m and 200m whilst Owen Miller (Dunfermline, Fife) stormed to gold in the 800m, and bronze in the 1500m. Hodge and Miller added to the tally as part of the bronze medal winning 4 x 100m relay team with Robert Ferrol (Glasgow) and James Simpson (Cumbria). The medal tally grew as silver medallists Holly Durbidge (Lowestoft, Suffolk), Martina Barber (Stevenage, Herts), Kimberley Aspland (Beccles, Suffolk), Stephanie Moore (Blaydon On Tyne, Newcastle) and Emily Rawlins (Longsight, Manchester) added their contributions. Declan Manning (Bungay, Suffolk) missed out on a podium performance but registered a strong personal best.
21 June: Advocacy funding for people with learning disabilities cut
Advocacy service funding for people with learning disabilities has been cut by 15% over the past four years, according to research by Improving Health and Lives. Their report, Advocacy by and for adults with learning disabilities in England
, surveyed 88 advocacy groups and 78 council commissioners of advocacy services This found that from 2009-10 to 2012-13 funding for learning disability specific advocacy services fell by 15.1 per cent as commissioners cut their total spend for self-advocacy organisations and also moved specialist contracts to generic advocacy organisations. More >
18 June: Congratulations!
Our congratulations to Viv Cooper of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation on being awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours. Well deserved recognition of someone who is determined and very effective in fighting for the rights of people with severe learning disabilities and their families. Well done Viv!
15 June: Councils cutting £2bn from adult care over two years
Councils are due to make about £2bn in adult care funding cuts from 2011-13 in response to the government's deficit reduction plan, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has revealed. Directors representing 145 of the 152 authorities in England are due to make £890m in savings this year, found Adass's annual budget survey
. Adass warned that service reductions would increase as a percentage of overall savings without government action to introduce a sustainable social care funding system, as councils were having to balance declining budgets against increasing demographic pressures and rising costs of care. More on the Community Care website >
14 June: Powers of entry and Powers of Intervention
Adult Safeguarding staff in England may need new powers to enter homes and intervene where they suspect a vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse and where a third party is preventing entry. Views from legal advisors and others suggest existing powers may be insufficient in such circumstances. However, there are legitimate concerns about the extent and remit of any new powers and these are matters not covered by the current legislative commitments given by the Government. As a consequence, a consultation paper has now been launched to stimulate debate and establish whether such powers are needed. Download more infromation about this
To have your say, email email@example.com
before Wednesday 11 July.
8 June: Waltzin' off to Aussie Sharon Paley, BILD's development manager for behaviour support is heading for a new job, and maybe even a new life, in Brisbane, Australia. Today we said goodbye and all our best wishes for the future to her and her family.
8 June: David Behan announced as the new Chief Executive of CQC David Behan has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), replacing Cynthia Bower who announced her resignation in February. Behan is currently director general for social care, local government and care partnerships at the Department of Health. Before that he was chief inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection and has been president of the Association of Directors of Social Services and director of social services for Greenwich, Middlesbrough and Cleveland councils.
7 June: Service users, not social workers, should lead support planning A report from the Groundswell Partnership says good support planning means people need to have plans which they can evolve at their own pace, and to be meaningful, the process of planning needs to help people explore how to achieve the things that are important to them and to stay safe at the same time. Unfortunately, such planning is often considered time intensive, expensive and unrealistic in the current financial climate. The report puts forward a planning process, called Empower and Enable, which is a people led approach to support planning. Download the report here >
31 May: Case lost but important precedents established Although the 'KM' challenge test case was lost at the UK's Supreme Court, the ruling importantly made it clear that local authority resources were not to be taken into account when establishing the needs of disabled people and the court also made it clear that when social care support was provided by direct payments to the individual it was "crucial" that local authorities provided a reasonable degree of detail so that a judgment could be made whether the indicative sum was too high, too low or about right. More in The Independent and The Guardian
30 May: An Ordinary Life As part of the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities' An Ordinary Life project, they have launched a free interactive booklet and communication passport to help families transform the quality of life for their child with complex health needs or who is dependent on medical technology to survive. Find out more on their website >
29 May: Surf Challenge
The Wave Project Surf Challenge is the UK’s first surfing competition exclusively for people with learning disabilities. It takes place from 10am on June 22nd at Fistral Beach in Newquay. If you have a learning disability, or would like to make an entry on behalf of someone who does, then visit the Surf Challenge website
and download the application form. The competition is open from people aged 8 upwards, with no upper age limit. It is open to people of all abilities, from beginner to advanced.
28 May: Winterbourne View Panorama wins BAFTA
The Panorama programme which showed vulnerable patients being ill treated at Winterbourne View won an award for current affairs at the TV Baftas on Sunday evening. More >
28 May: GOLD Success at RHS Chelsea!
Furzey Gardens and The Minstead Training Project are sister charities in Hampshire who together provide a range of services for adults with learning disabilities. Their team of students with learning disabilities, designer Chris Beardshaw and staff and volunteers entered the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to show what people with learning disabilities can achieve with appropriate support and funding. And they won a GOLD medal!
Furzey gardens website and The Minstead Training webpage.
28 May: People with Learning Disabilities in England 2011
The Improving Health and Lives Public Health Observatory annual report on People with Learning Disabilities in England 2011 which summarises information collected by several government departments about people with learning disabilities. It includes estimates of how many people with learning disabilities there are in England and information about the health of people with learning disabilities, the education of children with learning disabilities and health and social care services used by people with learning disabilities. Download it from the IHAL website.
25 May: Sign up to the Agreeing Together Contract!
The Learning DIsability Coalition's contract for the future 'Agreeing Together' has 15 agreements. The agreements say what needs to happen to make things better for people with a learning disabiltiy over the next 10 years. Please sign up to the Contract >
24 May: The Olympic Torch passes outside the BILD offices here in Kidderminster. Massive crowds, lots of bunting, flags and razzamatzz. And people with disabilities at the centre of events, carrying the torch. An amazing experience - once in a lifetime.
22 May: Agreeing Together – a contract for the future The Learning Disability Coalition launched it's final report, ‘Agreeing Together – a contract for the future’ in the Houses of Parliament. The report is based the things that people with learning disabilities have said need to change over the next ten years. This lead to the creation of the 15 agreements which form the contract for the future. Download the Agreeing Together report from the Coalition website.
22 May: The impact of cuts to the DLA
A brilliant graphic, produced by United Response, showing very clearly (there's a lot more to it than we can show here) how cuts will affect people with disabilities and their families. See it here > 21 May: Test case could outlaw critical threshold for adult care
Councils could be prevented from restricting adult social care to meeting people's 'critical' care needs by a legal challenge brought on behalf of five disabled people. West Berkshire Council, one of three councils with a critical threshold, along with Northumberland and Wokingham, is being challenged by five severely disabled residents currently denied the support they need in a challenge supported by Mencap. More on the Community Care website >
18 May: Half of learning disability services not meeting core standards
Half of learning disability services inspected in the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal are not meeting core essential standards of care, the Care Quality Commission has revealed. Just 52.3% of the 150 hospitals and care homes inspected were compliant with the outcomes on safeguarding and care and welfare that they were measured against as part of a national review conducted by the CQC. More here >
17 May: Cuts to services hitting people with learning disabilities
Specialist nurses fear that people with learning disabilities are missing out or facing a reduced service as demands increase, but resources are not being made available, says the Royal College of Nursing. In a survey of almost 500 learning disability nurses, nearly three quarters of respondents have seen cuts to services in the past year and of those who have, 73 per cent now have real concerns about the safety of their clients. More here >
The RCN is asking people to pledge their support for learning disability nursing on their website >
16 May: Winterbourne View campaign - take action!
Please email your MP today and ask them to call on the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, to set out plans to ensure people with a learning disability are protected from abuse and supported in their communities, near their families and support networks. Take action!
The government risks losing out on expert input on adult safeguarding reforms after it 'disbanded' an advisory group on the issue, group members have warned. More >
15 May: Paul Burstow MP makes a ministerial statement on progress on matters arising from Winterbourne View
"Once the criminal proceedings are completed, we expect the Serious Case Review, chaired by Dr Margaret Flynn, to be published.The CQC will publish a summary national report of its inspections in the summer.
In recognition of the seriousness of this issue, the Department intends to publish an interim report before summer recess, based on the findings of the CQC summary report and other evidence from the engagement with key partners, which will set out proposed actions and solutions. More here.
14 May: Queen's speech 2012: Draft bill on social care announced
A draft bill on overhauling care and support for elderly and disabled people in England has been announced in the Queen's Speech. The bill will put "people in control of their care and give them greater choice," ministers say. Find out more on the BBC website.
PBS Cardiff 2012 ends with an inspiring key note presentation by Bill Rogers from the Bill Rogers Educational Consultancy of Australia on 'Discipline with dignity: Supporting students with behaviour needs in mainstream schools'. A lot of the delegates could certainly relate to the examples and classroom situations he used to illustrate his talk.
A final goodbye from Sharon Paley and Ann Chivers, BILD's Chief Executive, and a lot of stimulated, thought-provoked and well-networked delegates begin the journey home.
Day 2 continues with Alick Bush of the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, 'Positive Behaviour Support - do we know what support teams should be doing? ' which brought in a lot of the learning from the post-Winterbourne View review findings.
This is followed by a set of workshops on a range of positive behaviour support subjects, from 'Applying the principle of the 'least restrictive alternative', to 'Reducing restraint in children's services by listening to children and young people'.
Day 2 Begins with Anton Dosen of Radboult University in the Netherlands speaking on Guidelines for treatment of problematic behaviour from the European Association in Mental Health and Intellectual Disability.
A very popular BILD PBS Leadership Award went to Sharon Paley, BILD's Development Manager for Behaviour Support. The award recognised Sharon's contribution to the development of PBS practice, both within BILD - where she led the change of focus from physical intervention to positive behaviour support - and in the UK, where she has made a significant contribution to changing practice.
Second BILD PBS Leadership Award winner of the night was Andy Lees of St Anne's Community Services in Leeds for work on the Mental Capacity Act and duty of care training for service managers.
11 May: The BILD PBS Leadership Awards exist to raise practice by recognising work of quality and quality of contribution over time. Last night we great examples of both: Linda Hume and colleagues from NHS Fife received an award for work that highlighted the importance of ensuring a quality of life approach to PBS.
A special Award went to Professor David Allen for his substantial contribution to the field of developing positive behaviour support approaches in policy and practice, both in the UK and internationally.
10 May: PBS Cardiff 2012 Day 1 afternoon: After a great set of workshops covering a wide range of positive behaviour support approaches, Keith McVilley of Deakin University in Australia gives a keynote presentation on planning for quality - research and practice in positive behaviour support plan development and review. A busy day ends with a brilliant drama presentation from Theatr Fforum Cymru about respect and the kind of support that recognises the person at the centre.
10 May: PBS Cardiff 2012 Day 1 morning starts with a welcome from the Chair, Sandy Toogood of Bangor University - we've come a long way but there's more to do and we've got to accept that we'll have to work hard to make small gains. Dan Crimmins of the University of Georgia, (pictured above), talks about the next challenge - getting positive supports to all who can use them. Edwin Jones of the University of Glamorgan gives a presentation on 'Positive behaviour support in Wales: notes from a small country' reporting on how measurable improvements have been found in a post-institution service with a specialist PBS support team.
9 May: BILD's 2012 Positive Behaviour Support Research Symposium. Keith McVilley of Deakin University - what impact does transformational leadership play in raising staff stress and therefore increasing likelihood of restrictive intervention?
Edwin Jones of University of Glamorgan - strategies are important, none of them in themselves appear to be enough but PBS is achieving measurable results; and Eric Emerson from the University of Lancaster (pictured, left) - the association between factors of poverty and the probability of behavioural difficulties in children with intellectual difficulties. Fascinating and well received.
4 May: The Best things in Life
If you're free on 12 May join Grapevine at Coventry Transport Museum with live music, entertainment, competitions, free food and creche. Hear stories of how Grapevine has changed the lives of people with learning disabilities in the city and take part in a special live launch of their new community inspired social media project, 'The best things in Life. Last year 160 people joined them to hang out with their families, share with their community and have fun. This year they're expecting even more. Find out more on their website.
3 May: Here to Stay
The Here to Stay project addresses the gap in the knowledge about the health and social care needs of people with learning disabilities from ethnic minority and new migrant communities living in England. If you work with people with learning disabilities in education, health or social care in the public, private or voluntary sector, we would like to ask you to complete a survey and share your views and experiences.
Take the survey.
More information about the project.
2 May: Take action
Please email your MP today and ask them to call on the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, to set out plans to ensure people with a learning disability are protected from abuse and supported in their communities, near their families and support networks. Take action email.
30 April: Ageing well for people with learning disabilities - can you help us?
Involved in supporting older people with a learning disability and their family carers? We'd love to hear from you. BILD’s Ageing Well project aims to provide up to date information to support older people with a learning disability so they can be better informed about the ageing process, how it might affect them and what they can do to lead an active and fulfilling life. Find out more on this website.
30 April: People with learning disabilities given training to spot abuse
An NHS trust that provides learning disability services across Rotherham, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire has developed a training package for services users to help them recognise and report different types of abuse. More from Learning Disability Today.
27 April: CQC finds more concerns about learning disability residential care
Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released 36 more reports into standards at learning disability residential care facilities and found only 7 to be fully compliant with the 2 standards it was investigating. Major concerns were found at 5 facilities. More here. You can read the CQC reports on their website.
27 April: Home care services face unannounced inspections
The Care Quality Commission this week started its programme of unannounced inspections of 250 home care providers, which are designed to garner much more information from users than previous probes.The CQC will also be contacting local authorities for contacts of service users whom they fund as well as asking agencies for a random sample of their clients. The service users will either be sent questionnaires, telephoned by 'experts by experience' - service users who are helping conduct the inspections - or, if they consent, visited by inspectors in their own homes, including during care visits. More on the Community Care website.
26 April: Former CQC inspector arrested over bribery allegations
A former inspector at care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been arrested over allegations that care home managers were being offered favourable inspection reports in return for cash payments. More from Learning Disability Today.
25 April: Modernising Learning Disability Nursing
The Modernising Learning Disability Nursing programme of work is being led by Ros Moore the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland on behalf of the chief nursing officers across the UK. It reflects a four-country commitment to gathering and considering evidence related to the current and future contribution of learning disability nursing to meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities and their families and to achieving health and social care policy objectives in each country. Find out more on the Learning Disability Nurse website
24 April: Concerns for social care as council job cuts accelerate
Concerns have been raised over the future of the adult social care system after it was revealed that councils in England and Wales sliced £1.4 billion from their annual pay bill in 2011-12, largely by reducing staff numbers. The majority of job cuts have so far been achieved through voluntary redundancy and not replacing workers after they retire or move on, according to the Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual earnings survey. More here.
23 April: Winterbourne View Hospital bought after abuse
A private hospital near Bristol, where residents were secretly filmed being abused, has been bought and will become a neurological rehabilitation centre. Glenside Manor Healthcare Services said it would invest £1.5m in refurbishing Winterbourne View which is expected to reopen as Glenside Bristol in 2013.
More on the BBC website. 23 April: Best Interest Decisions Tool
A leaflet is available to support parents who have concerns that they are being excluded from decisions that social care or health professionals are making about their adult son or daughter. These may be decisions about where the person lives, what care they are getting, how they spend their time or medical treatment. Parents will now be able to use two template letters which are intended to help family members who have not been involved, or are concerned that they will not be involved in the best interest decision-making process in the future. Download the leaflet and letter templates.
18 April: More admit Winterbourne View abuse charges
Two more people have admitted abuse charges relating to the former Winterbourne View learning disability residential hospital. Kelvin Fore and Neil Ferguson pleaded guilty to abusing the same patient in March 2011. In all, 9 people have now admitted their guilt in the case. In February, Wayne Rogers, Allison Dove and Holly Draper admitted charges, followed in March by Graham Doyle, Sookalingum Appoo, Danny Brake and Jason Gardiner. All are now awaiting sentencing.Two others face trial at Bristol Crown Court, which, according to the BBC, will take place in the summer.
Also from learning Disability Today, today:
Five arrested in Cornwall day centre neglect investigation 16 April: E-petition launched to ring fence care for people with learning difficulties
Learning disability care worker jailed over abuse
Rosa Monckton, who narrated the recent film ‘Letting Go’ about people with learning difficulties and the problems they and their families face when trying to provide for the future, and whose daughter featured in it, has initiated an e-petition to ask the government to ring-fence money allocated for the support of people with learning disabilities. If sufficient people sign the petition the government is committed to at least debate the issue in the House of Commons. Sign the e-petition here.
14 April: West Midlands Obesity Charter
The Department of Health West Midlands, public health and social care teams, West Midlands Public Health Observatory, NHS West Midlands and PAN-WM held a workshop in January 2010 that focused on how to work with people with learning difficulties to maintain a healthy weight, participate in physical activity and make healthy food choices. The event was attended by a range of specialists from the obesity, learning disabilities, physical activity, sport, transport, dance, healthy eating and health sectors. The feedback from the workshop has been used to develop a framework for action and an Obesity Charter launched 31 January 2012. Read the Charter Visit the website
12 April: The General Medical Council's Learning disabilities website
This site aims to help doctors provide better care for people with learning disabilities by: identifying the issues; highlighting patient perspectives and showing how to put GMC guidance into practice. More on their website here.
11 April: Nurchat is a fortnightly Twitter chat for nurses
On 10 April they held a Twitter chat on nursing and learning disbility issues. You can read a summary and report of the chat here: http://www.nurchat.blogspot.co.uk/
6 April: Register to vote
The Electoral Commission and Scope are calling on disabled people to act now or risk losing their say in May’s elections. With the registration deadline of Wednesday 18th April fast approaching, the Electoral Commission is encouraging those who have not yet registered to visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
where they can print off a voter registration form.
Large print registration forms and information, as well as audio guides to voting, are available on this website. Helpline staff, on 0800 3 280 280
, will also be on hand to answer any queries in the run-up to the elections.
4 April: Learning Disability Coalition publish report, 'Social Care in Crisis - the need for reform'.
The report finds that over three quarters of local authorities are facing difficulties in funding services for people with a learning disability and have made either cuts or savings. Of these, 9 out of 10 anticipate further ‘efficiency savings’.
It received extensive coverage on the BBC 6 o'clock news last night, if you missed it see it again for the next 6 days on the BBC iPlayer
(it starts at 19 minutes in). There's also a report on the BBC News website. You can also download a copy of the report.
4 April: Online nurses network
of over 700 nurses of all branches on Twitter, meetings take place every two weeks to discuss the topic of the day. On 10th April they'll be discussing working with people with learning disabilities and mental health issues in general settings, and you're welcome to join to listen to, or contribute to the conversation.
For those new to twitter, there are some handy hints on how to use it on the above website, and the transcripts of the conversations that have previously taken place. There are a growing number of learning disability nurses using twitter to keep up to date and share their thoughts on practice. A good hub for this activity is through www.learningdisabilitynurse.com
More here: http://nurchat.blogspot.co.uk/
2 April: Some care homes and hospitals still not meeting their obligations on liberty safeguards
This is according to the Care Quality Commission's second annual Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards report. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards aim to protect people's human rights in circumstances where they cannot consent to their care or treatment.
More here: http://bit.ly/HJcXmS