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News for the learning disability community for January to March 2012

Ann Chivers v2 277px wide
30 March:  New Chief Executive at the British Institute of Learning Disabilities  BILD has appointed Ann Chivers as its new Chief Executive in a move designed to build upon the organisation’s recent successes and strengthen its ability to serve the needs of those it works with. Keith Smith, who has stepped down as Chief Executive after seven years in the role, will continue to work for BILD in the area of project development, meeting the growing demand for collaborativeworking with a range of learning disability service organisations.

More on the News from BILD page.

29 March:
Mother Proved Right As Son Freed From Padded Room Hell Makes ‘Remarkable’ Progress
  A mother who took her local authority to court after her severely autistic son was locked in a padded room several times a day says the ‘remarkable’ progress he has made since winning the case nine months ago has vindicated their battle for justice. Her comments came as a judge lifted an anonymity order preventing Wigan Borough Council being named as the local authority concerned in the Court of Protection case, where it had been ruled that it was wrong to lock the 19-year-old boy in the so-called ‘Blue Room’ more than six times a day to control his behaviour without seeking a court order to deprive him of his liberty.

The judgement can be found here: http://bit.ly/H0yCvu
A detailed press release from Irwin Mitchell, the solicitors who represented 'C's mother can be read here: http://bit.ly/GYS21R

BILD’s development manager for behaviour support, Sharon Paley, acted as an expert witness to the Court of Protection in this case and commented: “BILD has been highlighting the issues related to the unlawful seclusion of people with learning disabilities, particularly children and young people, for five years now. This case highlights that these practices still continue, and should be a warning across the care sector and particularly in education, that where unlawful strategies are used they will be robustly challenged.”

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26 March:  Luv2meetU  A friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities has launched in Gloucestershire. Initially set up by learning disability charity, Hft, Luv2meetU will focus on supporting people with learning disabilities and their families to develop and sustain friendships and relationships, helping to improve their overall health and wellbeing and extending their social networks.

The agency, originally known as Stars in the Sky Yorkshire,  began in 2007 as a one year pilot in Leeds and Wakefield jointly funded by Hft and Dimensions UK. The project was able to continue as a result of funding from the Big Lottery Fund in 2009 and was developed further two years later by Hft when it became a community interest company and rebranded as Luv2meetU.  Gloucestershire is the seventh Luv2meetU service and joins branches in Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Calderdale and North East Derbyshire.

More information from: www.luv2meetu.com

22 March: Work on national minimum training standards and code of conduct due to begin in April  Development of national minimum training standards and a code of conduct for healthcare support workers reporting to registered nurses and midwives and adult social care workers in England is due to begin in April. The Department of Health has commissioned Skills for Health and Skills for Care, in consultation with unions, employers, support workers, regulators and education providers, to produce a final report, including the proposed code and standards, by September 2012

More here: http://bit.ly/GORY1t

20 March: How service users are leading response to Winterbourne View  In the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal, the Care Quality Commission employed 27 adults with learning disabilities as ‘experts by experience’ in the teams inspecting 150 learning disability hospitals and care homes for care and welfare and safeguarding outcomes. Between them, Laura D Broughton and John Woodhouse have been involved in 26 of those inspections.

Find out more in Community Care magazine: http://bit.ly/GH1Pdi
An introduction to supporting people cover
19 March: An introduction to supporting people with a learning disability  The latest book in BILD's Good Support series is published - a great introduction to supporting people so they can make choices and decisions about their lives. Like all the books in this series it uses real life stories and practical examples of how to apply the ideas when providing day to day support.

Find out more and buy online on this website.

16 March: Winterbourne View - More admit abuse charges  Four more people have pleaded guilty to ill treating residents at a private hospital near Bristol. Charges were brought against the four under the Mental Capacity Act.

More here: http://bbc.in/Ad2809

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15 March: Letting Go  If you missed this on BBC1 on Monday evening - or live in Wales or Scotland where it wasn't shown - you can stll see it for the next 6 days on the BBC iPlayer here: http://bbc.in/A96Xjl 

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13 March:  Jim Mansell  Everyone at BILD is saddened at the passing away of Jim Mansell, but very proud to have known him and to be influenced by his work. We always appreciated Jim’s knowledge, expertise and values and his presence always made our conferences or events more meaningful and more powerful. He always used such common sense in fighting for peoples’ rights and he is going to be missed terribly. Our thoughts are with Jim’s own family and friends and with all of Jim’s colleagues at the Tizard Centre.

Jim Mansell’s family have asked that flowers not be sent but those wishing to make a donation in memory of Jim are invited to do this at http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/in_memory_jmansell. Donations can also be sent via the funeral directors, C.W.Lyons and Son, 70 Military Road, Canterbury.

13 March: Letting Go, 13 March, BBC1 10.35pm  Having a child leave home is difficult enough for any parent, but when your teenage daughter has Down's syndrome it's even harder. Domenica Lawson, nearly 16, is unsettled at the prospect of growing up and of having to one day leave home. But it's her mother, Rosa Monkton, who is faced with the challenge of planning for the future, knowing that her daughter must eventually start an independent life without her. Letting Go follows Rosa as she meets three other young people with learning disabilities, and discovers how they are managing the transition to greater independence.

More here: http://bbc.in/y4Qf9i

7 March:  People with Down's Syndrome Need Eyecare Too  In preparation for Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (19-25 March) SeeAbility is highlighting how people with Down's syndrome need access to eye care. People with a learning disability are 10 times more likely to have serious eye problems than the rest of the population, and need regular eye tests just like anybody else. 

More on the Vision 2020 website: http://bit.ly/yorWfV

5 March:  Living in the margins  A campaign has been launched to highlight the impact of cuts to care and support services used by black and minority ethnic communities. Living In the Margins is spearheaded by health and social care charity the Afiya Trust and its core aim is to reduce health and social inequalities for BME groups. A survey of councils for the launch found £3m had been cut from BME charities providing social care in 2010-11 and that a fifth of authorities did not collect information on funding to BME groups.

Find out more here:  http://livinginthemargins.org/

5 March:  Find Me Good Care  The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is developing a website that will help people to make choices about care. FindMeGoodCare.co.uk will cover all types of care and support for adults including regulated and unregulated services in England. It will provide links to specialist websites (including local services, specialist and independent financial advisers). The site will  provide information about services for all adults, not just older people. You can register your interest now before the site goes live this summer.

2 March:  Scotland legislates to enshrine personalisation of care  Service users will have the right to a personal budget but will also be able to leave their care management in the hands of their local authority, under legislation issued by the Scottish government on 1 March. The Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Bill would make Scotland the first UK country to enshrine personalisation in law at the heart of the care system.

More in Community Care magazine: http://bit.ly/wLIdyM

1 March: Welfare Reform Bill passes final House of Lords hurdle  The government's controversial Welfare Reform Bill has passed its final hurdle in the House of Lords. The bill introduces an annual cap on benefits and overhauls many payments within the welfare system. David Cameron has said it marks an historic step in the biggest welfare revolution in more than 60 years. But a report from a parliamentary committee has warned that changes to the benefits of disabled people may risk their right to independent living.

More on the BBC website: http://bbc.in/yY0Hra

1 March:
New report says cuts to benefits and services could leave disabled people unable to live independently
  The Joint Committee on Human Rights published its report on the implementation of the right of disabled people to independent living. The right to independent living is not set out in UK law. In the report, the committee argues that the government should immediately assess the need for, and feasibility of, legislation to cover this.

Download the report: http://bit.ly/yHVn9k

1 March: 
Many deprived of liberty without safeguards, warn experts
  Many vulnerable service users are being deprived of their liberty without safeguards because of the narrow scope of the law, experts have warned. Learning disabled people in supported living and many care home residents lack the protections of the deprivation of liberty safeguards despite living very restricted and controlled lives, the first national Mental Capacity Act/Dols conference heard.

More in Community Care: http://bit.ly/xEEl1S

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29 February: CQC finds more failings at learning disability residential facilities The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published 20 more inspection reports on learning disability residential facilities – and found only 4 fully complied with essential standards. Inspections focused on two outcomes relating to the government’s essential standards of quality and safety: the care and welfare of people who use services, and safeguarding people who use services from abuse. Of the 20 locations inspected, 4 locations were compliant with both outcomes. Two locations had a major concern and a moderate concern, and 3 locations had a moderate concern for both outcomes.

More here: http://bit.ly/xRUZNy

27 February: Network Autism launched  The National Autistic Society have launched Network Autism saying "Many autism professionals working with autism do so without a close network of support. Network Autism is a place where they can come together, share good practice and achieve better outcomes during a time of unprecedented change in the sector."

Find out more here: http://www.autism.org.uk/networkautism

23 February: Performance and capability review of the Care Quality Commission  The Department of Health has published its Performance and Capability Review of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The review ran from October 2011 to February 2012, and was led by a panel of senior departmental officials and external reviewers, chaired by the Permanent Secretary. The review gathered evidence from a range of external stakeholders and CQC staff. It also considered findings of the recent reports from the Health Select Committee and the National Audit Office.

More here: http://bit.ly/yJLSQZ

The CQC has also today announced the resignation of its Chief Executive, Cynthia Bower.

22 February: 
MPs: Disabled people to lose out from 'medical model' reform
  Disabled people risk losing out because government benefit reforms are overly based on the medical model of disability, MPs have warned in a report. Parliament’s work and pensions select committee said that the proposed assessment for personal independence payment (PIP) did not take sufficient account of the social barriers to living faced by disabled people. PIP is due to replace disability living allowance from 2013 for people of working-age.

More here: http://bit.ly/yl1E5p

21 February: 
Northern Ireland Consultation
  The Northern Ireland Government has begun consultation on a new learning disability service framework to promote social inclusion, reduce inequalities and improve standards of care. The consultation closes on 12 March.

Find out more at: http://tinyurl.com/7blwexf

15 February: 
How a nurse is fighting for the rights of people with learning disabilities

Jim Blair is unequivocal about why the welfare of people with learning disabilities warrants attention. "It is really important that we look at this as a human rights issue," he says. "A joint parliamentary committee report on human rights in 2008 effectively found this country guilty of violating the human rights of people with a learning disability. And [a year later] you had the [health] ombudsman saying that, at best, services were patchy and, at worst, an indictment of society. That's incredible."

Read more here:  http://bit.ly/zXPm6M

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15 February:  Mencap: 74 deaths and counting  Mencap is calling on the government to make the NHS safe for people with a learning disability, following the publication, today of a new report ‘Death by indifference: 74 deaths and counting’, which finds continued institutional discrimination in the NHS. The report uncovers common errors made by healthcare professionals. These include failure to abide by disability discrimination law, ignoring crucial advice from families and failing to meet even basic care needs. Mencap believes that this is underpinned by an assumption by some healthcare professionals that people with a learning disability are not worth treating.

More here: http://bit.ly/zQJEY9

14 February: 
Learning disability reports from the Care Quality Commission
  The Care Quality Commission has published 20 reports from the programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities. The programme is looking at whether people experience safe and appropriate care, treatment and support and whether they are protected from abuse. A national report into the findings of the programme will be published in the Spring. An area of concern to emerge from an initial analysis of the first 40 reports is that many services are failing to provide patient-centred care - that is, care that is based on the individual needs of people using the services.

More here: http://bit.ly/zhhhzZ

10 February:
Winterbourne View care workers admit abuse
Three employees of Winterbourne View,  at the centre of a television investigation into allegations of abuse, have admitted mistreating patients. More here: http://bit.ly/ADWMa9

10 February:  Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adults  Adults with a more severe learning disability also have a greater likelihood of having autism according to a report published on 31st January 2012 by the NHS Information Centre. The report combines data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 with findings from a new study based on a sample of people with learning disabilities living in private households and communal care establishments.

More here: http://bit.ly/y6GRE1

8 February:
  Department of Health update re Winterbourne View 
The Department of Health has sent update letters to PCTs and Local Authorities, about actions they are expected to be taking now further to the Winterbourne View issues.

Download the letter here: http://bit.ly/ykcVe1
Download the easy read version here: http://bit.ly/xxVadF

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8 February:
Supreme Court to rule on councils' right to limit care funding  The Supreme Court is to rule on councils' right to take resources into account in determining the levels of care they will fund for users in a case that could have significant implications for social care funding. It concerns a severely disabled service user, KM, who was awarded a direct payment worth £85,000 a year by Cambridgeshire Council, despite an independent social worker calculating that it would cost £157,000 to meet his needs and the council agreeing with this practitioner's assessment of his needs.

More in Community Care: http://bit.ly/wEqmEM

6 march Care Lobby image
3 February:  carelobby2012  Care lobby 2012: On 6 March there will be a mass lobby of parliament, where people can tell their MPs why care matters to them in person.

Find out more and register to attend:http://carelobby2012.org.uk/

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2 February: Learning Disability Coalition | Take action!   This year is crucial for the future of social care. In the spring, the Government will publish a white paper on social care which will set out how care will be funded and reformed. We need to make sure that politicians know why care matters to us! The Learning Disability Coalition are calling on all supporters to ask their MPs to write to David Cameron to make sure that social care is a priority for the Government.

Do it online here: http://bit.ly/y2PlPM

2 February:
Department of Health send update letters to PCTs and Local Authorities about actions they are expected to be taking now further to the Winterbourne View issues. Read or download the letter. Read or download the easy read version.

30 January:
Estimating Future Need for Social Care among Adults with Learning Disabilities in England: An Update   Update to 2008 publication by Eric Emerson and Chris Hatton of estimates of the need for adult social care support among people with learning disabilities in England. Covers the period 2009-2026.

Read it here: http://bit.ly/xhCtGn

27 January:
A Day in Our Life
  A series of mini-films that reveal day to day life being the parent of a child with disabilities or additional needs. The films are designed to raise awareness of the challenges, routines, hopes and joys encountered by parents & carers and raise awareness and understanding amongst professionals and the wider public.

Watch the films here, there's also a PDF to download to support them from Newcastle City Council: http://bit.ly/yVp4li

Jim Mansell
24 January: Honour for Jim Mansell, who brought learning disability out of the shadows  Nice article in the Guardian about the achievements of Jim Mansell, who is to receive the CBE from the Queen on Thursday for his work with people with learning disabilities. See it here: http://bit.ly/wchHtU

19 January:
Care provider fined for leaving staff at risk of violence
  A learning disability provider has been fined £14,000 for leaving care staff at risk of violence from a client. The HSE launched an investigation into the provider after the client kicked a support worker in the eye in December 2009. It found that Dimensions did not have appropriate processes in place to control the risk of staff being exposed to violence or aggression from this client between March 2009 and December 2010. More here: http://bit.ly/AuJmHi

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17 January:  BILD and Barclays Money Skills launch new money management resources 
Great launch today at House of Commons of BILD's new materials to suppport people with learning disabilties in managing money and running bank accounts. Lots of people from Somerset Advocacy and Our Way Self Advocacy there as partners in the project sponsored by Barclays. Film and materials available shortly on the BILD website. More on this website here: Money Skills

16 January:
Thousands of restraint victims could seek compensation
  Children who were unlawfully restrained in privately-run child prisons over a 10-year period could pursue compensation claims, according to a high court judge.
Passing judgement this week on a judicial review case brought by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), Mr Justice Foskett said it was highly likely that large numbers of children were unlawfully restrained in privately-run secure training centres (STCs) for at least a decade between 1998 and 2008. The number of potential claimants could reach thousands, experts have warned. More here: http://bit.ly/w5cfg1

12 January: Care Quality Commission publishes ten reports into learning disability hospitals 
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published ten reports from the programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities. The ten inspections were of hospitals that provide assessment and treatment services.

More about this, and links to the inspection reports, including easy read versions, here: http://bit.ly/yzw7Fw

8 January: Learning Disability Coalition launches the 'Care Matters to Me' campaign 
We need to make sure the government reforms social care funding and practice so that it becomes easier for people with disabilities and care needs to access essential care, support, therapy, equipment, early intervention and training. Find out more about the campaign:  http://www.learningdisabilitycoalition.org.uk/care_matters_to_me.asp

4 January: 
Carers 'disproportionately hit' by government cuts 

Carers will be disproportionately hit by government benefit cuts over the coming years, research published today shows. Tax and benefit changes from 2010-15 will result in a real terms drop of 6% in net income for households where a person claims carer's allowance, compared with a 4% fall for other households, found an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, commissioned by the Family and Parenting Institute.

More here: http://bit.ly/xWHWYi

3 January:  NHS whistleblowing helpline to be extended to social care staff  The whistle-blowing helpline for NHS staff is being extended to staff and employers in the social care sector from 1 January. There is also a new number for the service, which encompasses all of the elements of the current helpline service and is free, independent and confidential. The new helpline number will be 08000 724 725.

More here: http://bit.ly/sO4wpJ

Kyle Flack
3 January:  NHS accused over deaths of disabled patients

The NHS is accused of causing or contributing to the deaths of at least 74 patients with a learning disability because of poor care that reveals enduring "institutional discrimination" among doctors and nurses. The 74 vulnerable patients' deaths over the past decade were either caused or complicated by mistakes in hospitals and decisions by staff who failed to treat them properly and displayed ignorance or indifference to their plight, according to the charity Mencap and families of some of those who died.

More here: http://bit.ly/tzncv5

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