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Bubb report: Close ‘inappropriate institutional inpatient facilities’

A new report has called for over 2,000 patients with learning disabilities to be moved from “inappropriate” inpatient settings to community based care.

The recommendations in Sir Stephen Bubb’s report ‘Winterbourne View – time for change’ could bring about the biggest overhaul of the care system since the closure of the Victorian asylums, if enacted.

Bubb was asked by the NHS to review how to move more patients with learning disabilities into community-based care after government pledge to do so by June 2014 this year failed. The report revealed that between 2,500 and 3,000 people learning disabilities and autism are still living in institutions with more being admitted.

The pledge was made following the Winterbourne View scandal, which saw BBC Panorama expose care failings in the Castlebeck-operated home.

The report provides 11 recommendations to bring about more appropriate care for people with learning disabilities. These include calls for:

• The closure of inpatient facilities led by NHS England where it is the main commissioner
• The government to draw up a charter of rights for people with learning disabilities or autism and their families.
• Providing patients with the ‘right to challenge’ decisions to admit them to inpatient care
• Extending the right to have a personal health budget to people with learning disabilities
• The establishment of a ‘Life in the community’ Social Investment Fund, to help expand community based services.

The fund would be seeded with £30 million from NHS England or the government and could be leveraged with £200 million from other investors, the report suggests.

Bubb, who is the chief executive of charity leaders network AVECO [Association of Chief executives of Voluntary Organisations], said: “The Winterbourne View scandal shocked the nation. People are still angry and frustrated that more people with learning disabilities are being placed in institutional care than moved into the community.

“We urge immediate action, to close all Winterbourne-style institutions and ramp up community provision.”

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Posted on: 26/11/2014

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