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Saturday 14 December 2019
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News in learning disabilities July to September 2013

This is BILD's News service for those in our community. See the latest news that affects people with learning disabilities, their families and those who work to support them.


You can also follow BILD on Facebook and Twitter.

30 Sep: BILD awarded Investors in People!
We’re delighted to tell you that BILD has been accredited as an Investors in People organisation following an assessment procedure carried out by an external assessor. We’re particularly pleased to have achieved this within only 5 months of our application – we must have been doing something right already!

More >

25 Sep: Transport for disabled people still unacceptably poor
A new report from MPs on the Transport Committee has criticised many aspects of public transport, saying that some of the momentum for making advances in accessibility – which was boosted by the London 2012 Paralympics – risks being lost because further key accessibility improvements planned by the Department for Transport are being watered-down or abandoned. More >

25 Sep: Joint Ministerial Letter on SEN Commissioning

Education and health Ministers have issued a joint letter on commissioning for children and young people with special educational needs. The letter is addressed to Local Authorities and CCGs and outlines the importance of integrated commission processes and collaborative working. View the letter >

25 Sep: Labour to create new offence of disability hate crime
The Labour Party has said that it would reform the disability hate crime law so that it has parity with other forms of hate crime. Plans were announced at the Labour Party conference to introduce a specific criminal charge of disability hate crime, amid evidence that victims of it are being let down by the criminal justice system. More >

23 Sep:
Mental Health & Learning Disabilities in the Courts

This new resource includes info. about mental health conditions and learning disabilities, and the implications of these conditions for individuals appearing before the courts; how magistrates can recognise certain symptoms and obtain further information; ways in which defendants can be helped to participate effectively in court proceedings; and sentencing options. Access the resource online or request a hard copy by email.

23 Sep: Food and fun as city cafe opens its doors
A Bradford-based scheme providing training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities has opened a new cafe in the city centre. Part of Yorkshire Housing’s SupportWorks, Foodworks offers structured training for people with learning disabilities at its dedicated training kitchen. More >

23 Sep: A very warm welcome to BILD's new health advisor
We are delighted to introduce you to BILD's latest Associate Advisor: Jim Blair, Consultant Nurse Intellectual (Learning) Disabilities at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. More >

23 Sep:
Disability plan for independent living in Wales

Plans aimed at removing the barriers facing disabled people in Wales have been unveiled by the Welsh Government. The framework for action on independent living outlines the steps the Welsh Government will take to make sure disabled people have the same access to services and opportunities as the rest of society. More >

20 Sep: Six entrepreneurs who are inspiring the world
Today there are hundreds of people with Down Syndrome demonstrating every day their potential and unquestionable skills. Meet 6 individuals who have published books, graduated with degrees and run their own businesses here >

18 Sep: Sign up to the Social Care Commitment
The Social Care Commitment is an agreement about improving workforce quality across the whole of the adult social care workforce. Its primary purpose is to ensure public confidence that people who need care and support will always be supported by skilled people who treat them with dignity and respect. Sign up and make the commitment online >

13 Sep:
Campaigners demand - and win - better consultation
Impassioned speeches
for improved consultation have been made by people who use the adult learning disability service in Somerset  ahead of planned £1.4m cuts. Councillors have since opted to extend the public consultation to users and to continue exploring tendering options. More >

12 Sep: Jo
int Health & Social Care Self-Assessment Framework
The Joint Health and Social Care Self-Assessment Framework has replaced the Valuing People Now Self-Assessment and the Learning Disability Health Self-Assessment. All Local Authority areas are asked to complete the self-assessment working with their local partners including Clinical Commissioning Groups. Instructions on how to register for your area and enter data can be found here >

11 Sep: Lessons learnt from Winterbourne View
The launch of a quality code, endorsed by the DoH, three years after the Winterbourne revelations shows lessons have been learnt.
The Driving Up Quality Alliance has today launched a quality code and a self-assessment tool designed to improve standards of care and support and ensure a focus on the individual.
More >

11 Sep: M
ost councils have met 70% personal budgets target
Council-managed personal budgets still predominate over direct payments, an annual survey by ADASS has found. According to the survey, almost three-quarters of English councils met the government's target of having 70% of eligible service users and carers on personal budgets by April 2013. More >

11 Sep: Care workers paid less than minimum wage
Over a quarter of UK care workers may be paid less than the minimum wage, according to a recent study. Although care workers’ pay is currently set at £6.19 an hour the absence of financial cover for travelling means many are earning a sum closer to £5 an hour.
More >

9 Sep:
Castlebeck sold to protect 850 jobs

Former Winterbourne View owner bought up by fellow learning disability provider Danshell in deal designed to save Castlebeck's 20 services and protect staff jobs. The deal comes six months after Castlebeck went into administration after building up debts of over £250m that it could no longer service. More >

9 Sep: Student wins top Nursing Times learning disability award
University of Cumbria nursing student Emma Consadine has won the Nursing Times Student of the Year: Learning Disabilities Award. Nationally, nine students were short-listed for the award and three of these were from the University of Cumbria. Congratulations on your fantastic achievements, Emma! More >

9 Sep:
College branded 'a disgrace' for lack of courses
Councillor Lord Morrow has described the findings of an audit report which found that the Dungannon campus of South West College did not offer a single course for people with disabilities as ‘a disgrace’. More >

30 Aug: Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in Bath
This year the country’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities has been hosted by the city of Bath. The Games opened on 28th August and will continue to 1st September 2013. Over three days of competition 1,700 athletes from England, Scotland and Wales compete in 12 sports, from rhythmic gymnastics to golf. More >

28 Aug:
More opportunities opening up for talented people

London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is to introduce a new course for adults with learning disabilities from next year. The one-year Performance Making diploma will be launched in January 2014 and is being developed in partnership with Access All Areas, a theatre company for people with learning disabilities. More >

28 Aug: CQC's first Chief Inspector of General Practice
The CQC has appointed Prof. Steve Field as its first Chief Inspector of General Practice. The Chief Inspector will lead CQC’s inspection and regulation of providers of primary care services across the public, private and independent sectors and will champion the interests of people using GP and dental services.  

28 Aug: Name and shame of social care employers
The government is to revise its national minimum wage naming scheme, making it easier for members of the public to find out which employers are breaking the law. More employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage will be publicly named and shamed from October, employment relations minister Jo Swinson has revealed. More >

22 Aug: Devon children's home used 'excessive' restraint
An Ofsted report has found "excessive and inappropriate" restraint was used in a Devon County Council-run children's home in Exeter. Opposition councillors are demanding answers after the home's rating dropped from good to inadequate in six months. More >

21 Aug: New easy read police contact poster
Hampshire Constabulary has produced a new contact poster specifically designed for people with a learning disability. The poster is in an easy read format and explains when to use the 101 number and when to call 999. It’s being launched to support Mencap’s Learning Disability Week 2013. Find out more and download the poster >

21 Aug:
Confidential Inquiry Events
The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities was funded by the Department of Health and reported its findings earlier this year. The Confidential Inquiry team are running a series of free events this autumn to discuss the findings of the Confidential Inquiry and how to take forward the recommendations. More information and how to book >

16 Aug: Court approves man's sterilisation in legal first
A High Court judge has sanctioned the sterilisation of a man with learning disabilities "in his best interests" in a landmark legal ruling. The Court ruled that a vasectomy could take place after hearing that having a child could cause the man "psychological harm". More >
The full judgement can be read here >

14 Aug: New SCLD statistics published today
The ‘Statistics Release: Adults with learning disabilities known to Scottish local authorities 2012 (eSAY)’, published today by the SCLD, offers an invaluable insight to the lives of adults with learning disabilities in Scotland. Download the statistics from the SCLD website >

14 Aug: Basic rights of mentally ill 'violated'
The basic rights of some mental health patients in England are being "violated" because of a shortage of beds in psychiatric units, MPs say. The Health Select Committee said there was evidence some people are being sectioned unnecessarily to secure hospital treatment. More >

13 Aug: Welfare over cost in learning disabilities treatment
In an article published by GP online, Dame Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, states doctors must ensure that prescribing is appropriate and in the patient’s best interests. More >

12 Aug:
Mum loses High Court battle over disabled son

The mother of a disabled teenager who fears her son will be forced into a care home has lost a High Court battle with Worcestershire County Council. After a bitterly fought judicial review, a judge has decided the council can all-but scrap at-home care for vulnerable adults to help save money. More >

9 Aug: Grant to help young learners pursue ambitions
City College Peterborough is to receive £662,500 to create additional places for young people with learning difficulties. Since 2010 the number of young learners, aged 16 to 24, with learning disabilities studying at the college has almost tripled from 17 to 47.

6 Aug: Spain's first Down Syndrome councillor makes history
Spain's first-ever town councillor with Down Syndrome, Ángela Covadonga Bachiller, started work in the Spanish city of Valladolid this week. City mayor Francisco Javier León de la Riva described the thirty-year old as "an example of strength and of someone overcoming obstacles". More >

6 Aug: 6000 protest against ‘disgraceful’ funding cuts
Over 6,000 people have petitioned against cuts threatening Ideal for All, a successful user-led organisation in Sandwell who, last year, received more than 33,000 calls for help, information and equipment. It could be forced to close in October – with the loss of 50 jobs – after two public bodies imposed a drastic cut in its funding. More >

5 Aug: New residential training report
The Department for Work and Pensions has conducted an independent review of residential training for disabled people. The report also considers non-residential training, and other options including on-line and distance support. More >

1 Aug: Court asked to sterilise man with learning difficulties
The mother of a man with learning difficulties has asked a court if he can be sterilised to prevent him from having another baby as he does not want children but lacks the mental capacity to resist the "power of sex". In a ground-breaking case, the Court of Protection has been asked to decide whether it would be in the 36-year-old's best interests for him to have a vasectomy. More >

30 July: Housing benefit challenge dismissed by High Court
Disabled families have lost a court challenge to social housing benefit cuts for residents with spare bedrooms in England, Wales and Scotland.
Ten families brought a judicial review over the lower payments for people in homes deemed too large. More >

30 July: Birmingham care home abuse claim investigated
Police are reviewing video footage after receiving an allegation of abuse at a care home. Footage was alleged to have been filmed at Selborne House, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham. Selborne Care said a male worker had left, one person has been suspended pending investigation and another was currently on maternity leave. More >

25 July: Breaking the Silence - the voices of people in secure settings 
Uncovering the hidden and untold stories from local people with learning disabilities who used secure settings. This event, created by Changing Our Lives, will present first hand accounts of life in a secure setting and how life has now changed for the positive for people now living in the community. 11 October, 9.30am to 1pm, Mac Birmingham. More >

25 July: New edition of Rough Guide to Accessible Britain  Available to view free online, gives plenty of new ideas for accessible trips in 2013. Each review contains hints and tips from the Rough Guides team of disabled reviewers who visited each venue, looking for well thought out accessibility features and unique attractions, both of which contribute to making a great day out. More >

24 July: 
Tougher standards needed for inpatient learning disabilities units  All inpatient units for people with learning disabilities should be able to prove that they have been externally accredited and be able to provide evidence of treatment plans and outcomes, says a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, published today. More >

19 July: Councils' steep challenges in delivering adult care savings  The Local Government Association has warned that a "significant number" of the 54 councils taking part in the LGA's adult social care efficiency programme were struggling to deliver on their savings objectives. More >

19 July: 'Hundreds excluded from Winterbourne support scheme'  NHS England has revealed that 1,317 people with learning disabilities or autism and behaviour that challenges services had been registered as being in NHS-funded hospitals as of 1 April. However, the number of people registered falls far short of the 3,400 people who were counted as being in NHS-inpatient learning disability beds in 2010. More >

19 July: SCIE boss is CQC's first chief inspector of social care
The CQC has appointed SCIE chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe as its first chief inspector of social care.Sutcliffe will be tasked with reshaping the regulator's approach to monitoring adult social care service users, which will include rating providers on their quality and developing specialist teams of inspectors. More > 

18 July: New programmes to take on young disabled people
Young people who are disabled will be given help to find sustainable paid employment through a new Supported Internship programme and a new Traineeship programme. The Department for Education funded Supported Internships will offer specialised employment-focused study programmes for young people aged 16 to 24 with complex learning difficulties and disabilities. More >

17 July: MacIntyre launch new edition of Great Interactions
Great Interactions is the name MacIntyre gives its award winning way of working. It is based on ten key facilitation skills, which when used well cumulatively; result in good outcomes for the person. More >

16 July: Are we doing enough to protect vulnerable adults?
The House of Lords Committee charged with investigating the Mental Capacity Act 2005 heared from several major disability charities on Tuesday this week. Watch the session on Parliament TV >

They are meeting again on Tuesday 23 July when they will be hearing from advocacy organisations.You can watch the sessions on Parliament TV. More >

15 July: Patient best interest – not cost alone – should be the overriding concern in care and treatment of people with learning disabilities, Ombudsman says
A report published by the Health Service Ombudsman found that a London GP practice did not give Mr H, a young man with severe learning disabilities, behavioural problems and epilepsy, the medication he needed on the grounds of cost and ignored disability discrimination law in the process. More >

12 July: Councillor finally resigns over ‘outrageous’ comments
A councillor who shocked and outraged campaigners after suggesting to Disability News Service (DNS) that it might be a good idea to kill some disabled babies has finally resigned. More > 


4 July: Hospital bosses face prosecution over care failings
Hospital and care home managers who allow neglect and abuse to take place on their watch could face criminal prosecution and unlimited fines under new Government plans designed to restore trust in the health service after a series of high profile NHS scandals. More >


2 July: People with Learning Disabilities in England 2012
The third annual compendium of statistics about the lives of people with learning disabilities produced by Public Health England's Improving Health and Lives Observatory (IHAL). The report covers a wide range of information about population numbers, education, health and social care. More >


Also from IHAL: Learning Disability Profiles
Health profiles are numbers which help people who plan health services. They try to show:


  • How many people have learning disabilities

  • How healthy they are

  • How much health care they get

  • How well social services are looking out for them


They show how your area compares with others. They are used by planners in health services and social services. They are also interesting for self-advocates and family carers. More >


2 July: Monroe House given a 'weak' management rating again
A private care hospital in Dundee remains the only one in Scotland to be given a "weak" management rating by a healthcare watchdog. Monroe House is a psychiatric hospital for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. More >


1 July: 'The endless search for suitable housing for my daughter'
While ministers want people with learning disabilities to move out of hospital into the community, Jane Gregory has found many barriers to achieving this for her daughter Chrissy. More >


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