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Saturday 14 December 2019
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News in learning disabilities October to December 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.

13 Dec: Meeting needs and reducing distress in NHS settings
NHS Protect has launched new guidance on the prevention and management of clinically related challenging behaviour in NHS settings. It has been developed to assist staff in minimising a patient’s distress, meeting their needs and delivering high quality personalised care. The guidance, training videos (available Jan 2014), and other resources can be accessed on a dedicated website > 

13 Dec: The five good communication standards
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists have published ‘Five good communication standards: Reasonable adjustments to communication that individuals with learning disability and/or autism should expect in specialist hospital and residential settings’. View the standards >

13 Dec: Winterbourne View patients still at risk, warn families
In a letter to The Telegraph, parents and siblings of former Winterbourne View patients voice “dismay” at an apparent lack of progress and accuse ministers of failing to live up to their own promises. More >

The families’ warning is echoed Dr Margaret Flynn, the author of the official review into ill treatment at Winterbourne View, and Joe Plomin, the producer of the BBC Panorama documentary which first exposed it. More >

13 Dec: Inadequate
healthcare leads to 25 deaths each week
The findings of the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities were published this week in The Lancet. Register for free to view the findings >

From this data it has been estimated that about 25 people with learning disabilities die each week from causes of death wholly or partly amenable to good quality healthcare. This report is published in the Tizard Learning Disability Review >

11 Dec: Calls for end to seclusion and restraint in Australia
Mental health experts are calling for the end to the practice of locking up and restraining patients in hospitals during mental breakdowns. Children as young as seven are being routinely held down by hospital staff and thrown into seclusion rooms in public hospitals across Australia. More >

The National Mental Health Commission is now urging Australians from all walks of life to join them in calling for an end to the seclusion and restraint of children and adults with mental health problems. Sign up to the Declaration >

11 Dec
Dementia Gateway relaunched in time for G8 Summit
The SCIE is calling on G8 members to focus on research into supporting people with dementia, as well as the causes of dementia. To coincide with the G8 Summit SCIE have relaunched the Dementia Gateway, their online advice, information and training tool. The new edition covers understanding dementia, living with dementia and dementia friendly environments. Visit Dementia Gateway >

11 Dec: Winterbourne improvement programme loses leads
The two heads of the government-backed programme to transform learning disability care following Winterbourne View have stepped down. Chris Bull left his part-time role leading the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme (WVJIP) last month to enable the appointment of a full-time programme director. Ian Winter – who had effectively been Bull’s number two on the WVJIP – leaves next week when his contract comes to an end. More >

11 Dec:
Confidential Inquiry national conference
The DoH will be running a national conference to review progress in taking forward the recommendations of the Confidential Inquiry into the premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. They are looking for examples of work taking forward learning from the Inquiry. If you want to share your work please contact the Confidential Inquiry team.

5 Dec: Bridging the commissioner-provider divide
A new paper, Finding Common Purpose, discusses how councils and learning disability providers can work together to contain cost pressures and improve support. Learning disability services are councils’ biggest cost pressure in adult social care. While overall gross expenditure on adult social services fell by 1% from 2011-12 to 2012-13, learning disabilities grew by 0.5%. More >

4 Dec: Headteachers left confused over SEN funding rules
Campaigners fear children with special educational needs will be excluded from mainstream schools because of confusion over funding. Many headteachers are unaware that it is the legal responsibility of the local authority – and not individual schools – to arrange the support outlined in a statement. More >

3 Dec: New ‘Easy Read’ mobile phone guide from Ofcom
Ofcom has published a new easy read guide to using a mobile phone. The guide offers advice on how to get the most out of your mobile phone and on how much it could cost. It gives useful information on the costs of mobile phone calls and ways to pay and free services available for disabled customers.View the guide >

29 Nov: Family denied extra support by council  
Calderdale Council failed to produce a care plan for a girl with severe disabilities – potentially leaving her family without adequate support, the Local Government Ombudsman has found. The teenager, who has severe physical and learning disabilities, requires constant supervision and is dependent on her parents but the council failed to properly assess her needs.  More >

29 Nov:
330,000 forced to cut back on food and heating

Thousands of people with disabilities are cutting back on food and heating as the Bedroom Tax forces them “deeper and deeper” into debt, charities have said. In a letter to Iain Duncan Smith, heads of more than 50 charities say tax is having a “devastating impact” on an estimated 330,000 people with disabilities. More >

29 Nov:
Work of the Tizard Centre recognised with award

The University of Kent has been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the work of its Tizard Centre. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded for exceptional contributions by institutions in the higher and further education sectors and will be presented by The Queen at Buckingham Palace on 27 February 2014. More >

20 Nov: Disability course closure protests disrupt launch
The University of Manchester, who intended to hold a formal launch event for their revised ‘Social Responsibility Mission’ in John Rylands Library, have changed the venue after campaigners said they would stage a protest. The demonstration is against the University’s decision to close its internationally acclaimed Learning Disability Studies course, which was made in August. More >

20 Nov: Mid Staffs inquiry encourages NHS culture change
More openness, greater accountability and a relentless focus on safety will be the cornerstones of an NHS which puts compassion at its heart, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced. The plans, set out in the Government’s response to the Inquiry into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, build on the cultural change already taking place in the wake of the hospital scandal. More >

20 Nov: Social workers directed to breach the MCA
So much is being written and said about social workers failing to apply the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. But a Community Care reporter claims to be aware of a number of cases where social workers have tried to apply the principles, only to find that they had no support from their managers. In some cases social workers have even been directed to go against the basic principles of the MCA. More >

15 Nov: Winterbourne safeguarding manager struck off
A safeguarding adults manager has been struck off for failing to respond to several alerts from Winterbourne View hospital, leaving service users at risk of suffering further abuse. At the time, Clarke was safeguarding adults manager at South Gloucestershire Council, which was responsible for safeguarding adults services for the area covering Winterbourne View. More >

12 Nov: Man with learning difficulties stands up to care cuts
“I will never give up” is the vow of a man with learning difficulties as he makes a stand against Darlington Borough Council that has threatened to cut his care package. The 42-year-old man launched a campaign against the council after being told he may no longer be eligible to receive support he depends upon on a daily basis. More >

11 Nov: Website to compare adult social care performance
The government has launched a website comparing adult social care performance between areas that it says will help local people hold their council to account. The Adult Social Care Outcomes site provides data for each area in England with 21 indicators including direct payment take-up rates, the self-reported quality of life of a sample of service users and rates of delayed discharges from hospital attributable to a lack of social care. More >

7 Nov: Fantastic project My Sport, My Voice! to launch in 2014
The UK Sports Association has announced the launch of its ‘My Sport, My Voice!’ project – a new initiative which aims to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Set to commence in April 2014, the project will raise awareness around talented athletes with learning disabilities and give those athletes a platform to challenge perceptions around disability. More >

6 Nov:
Disability campaigners win appeal over ILF closure
Five disability campaigners have succeeded in a legal challenge to the government's decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund. The High Court ruled in April that the closure decision was lawful. But the five argued the court had gone wrong in law and there had been a lack of proper consultation over changes. More >

1 Nov: Love Your Vote campaign to make politics accessible
The Speaker of the House of Commons has said it is “critical” that politics becomes more accessible, after new research found that only around ten per cent of people with learning disabilities voted in the last election.In an attempt to “increase awareness and the number of people who vote,” the Love Your Vote campaign has been launched. More >

1 Nov: Integration pioneers leading the way for reform
Care Minister Norman Lamb has announced details of fourteen pioneering initiatives that are transforming the way health and care is being delivered by bringing services closer together than ever before. The pioneers are showcasing innovative ways of creating change in the health service, which the Government and national partners want to see spread across the country. More >

1 Nov: Legislation to transform adult social care approved
Legislation to transform adult social care in England has been approved by the House of Lords and will now go to the Commons for further examination. To the delight of advocacy organisations, ministers have introduced a duty on councils to provide people with an independent advocate during assessment and support planning.
More >

29 Oct: Golden Lane Housing wins Charity Times Award
Golden Lane Housing has been awarded the CharityTimes Social Investment Initiative of the Year Award for our £10m charity bond launched in February this year. Congratulations from everyone at BILD for your fantastic achievement! More >

28 Oct: Calls for mental health advocacy support rejected
The government has rejected calls from MPs to extend statutory independent advocacy support to all mental health patients in England rather than only those detained under the Mental Health Act. More >

24 Oct: Arrests suggest systematic problem in the care sector
Seven people have been arrested by police investigating alleged abuse at a care home where residents were apparently locked in an unheated 'quiet room' overnight. Devon and Cornwall Police launched the investigation in November 2011 after reports that vulnerable adults were being poorly treated at the Vielstone care home near Bideford.More >

24 Oct: Woman receives compensation for illegal detention
The government has been ordered by the European court of human rights to pay £3,730 compensation to a severely disabled patient with Down's syndrome for detaining her illegally. The woman, named only as MH, was taken into hospital on mental health grounds initially for assessment. The hospital blocked requests to have her discharged and instead extended her detention indefinitely. More >

23 Oct: Improving support to fulfil career aspirations
Over 2,000 more people with disabilities got the support they needed to get or keep their job, compared with this time last year, according to official figures. 22,760 people were being supported through Access to Work between April and June this year – an increase of 10% on the same period last year. More >

16 Oct:
Further education: LDD reforms
The Children and Families Bill is currently before Parliament. The bill will bring radical changes to the learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) system in England from September 2014. It will introduce important new responsibilities on further education colleges and approved independent specialist providers that will help provide young people with LDD the support they need to realise their aspirations. More >

15 Oct:
Hidden cameras in care homes?

Hidden cameras and mystery-shopper exercises may form part of a revamped inspection regime for care homes and domiciliary care in England next year announced by the Care Quality Commission. They will run a public consultation 'in spring 2014' where you’ll be given the chance to tell them what you think about these plans.

Coverage here: http://bbc.in/H10aRP

14 Oct: CQC chief to open care home inspections to the public
England's first chief inspector of adult social care tells the Independent she is preparing to recruit an army of ordinary people with personal experience of the care system to help conduct inspections. More >

10 Oct:
All of us have a right to be heard

New research shows more than half of us who have experienced poor care in the last three years didn’t report it because we didn’t trust the system to act. Over the next 12 months, Healthwatch England will be collecting evidence from across the network of 152 local Healthwatches on whether or not our rights are being respected. They will be reporting the findings to Parliament. Find out more about your rights >

10 Oct:
Older people at risk of human rights abuses
The high turnover of home care staff as a result of poor pay and conditions in the sector is making older people more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, warns the Equality and Human Rights Commission. More >

10 Oct:
CIPOLD event presentations available to download
The Confidential Inquiry team have made the presentations that they used in their recent review meetings available to download from their website. More >

10 Oct: New online mental health service for young people
Thousands of children and young people will be able to access an online advice service for support dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety as a result of a £500,000 Government investment.The service will be a “support network in your pocket” for thousands of young people. More >

9 Oct: T
reatment refused to people with learning difficulties
Residents with learning difficulties living in Thurrock, Essex are being seriously let down by their doctors as they, at worst, refuse to give them annual health checks, claims a health watchdog. More >

8 Oct:
Internet safety for people with learning disabilities

Safer Net is a new website that gives advice on staying safe online for people with learning disabilities, and those who support them. The site also aims to raise awareness of online abuse, the different ways that this can happen, and what to do if it happens to you or to someone you know. More >

7 Oct: Ever considered becoming a Caremaker?
This month there will be a new round of opportunities for English Learning Disability Nurses to represent their profession as Caremakers. Being a Caremaker is a golden opportunity to influence the practice of others, whilst raising awareness of the health inequalities and barriers to access that people with learning disabilities experience. More >

7 Oct: Innovation Award for Ways into Work
Ways into Work has collected the BASE (British Association for Supported Employment) Innovation Award for the number of people with learning difficulties in employment. It has found work for 58 of the 301 people with a learning difficulty registered with the council’s adult social care team. More >

7 Oct: Education funding successes to benefit young people
York's Askham Bryan College is set to open a £600,000 centre which will allow learners to live independently while they are given support and training. Students aged 16-24, with severe learning difficulties and disabilities, will be offered classroom and vocational training. More >
Hampshire students with learning difficulties are also set to benefit from a £1.36m funding boost to improve college facilities. The funding, awarded by the Education Funding Agency, will enable support facilities to be extended for young people aged 16-24 with special educational needs along with learning difficulties or disability. More >

4 Oct:
How Winterbourne View happened again
Most of us will never forget the shocking footage that came out of the Winterbourne View care home. You probably don’t remember but earlier this year two nursing home assistants were jailed for a series of crimes every bit as atrocious. “These aren’t isolated instances. It’s cultural, and it’s grown out of what’s happened in the care sector”. More >

3 Oct:
CQC to gain greater independence from government

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he would relinquish several powers to intervene in the CQC's activities through government amendments to the Care Bill. Under the plans, the health secretary would no longer be able to direct which organisations the CQC should inspect, how it should carry out inspections and how it should write up its report. More >

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