As many as 86 leading care organisations, charities and experts have written a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for the closure of all learning disability hospital units!
Among the representatives who have signed the letter are Rob Greig, former national director for learning disabilities; and Keith Smith, CEO of the British Institute of Learning Disabilities.
Warning Cameron that reviews by the Department of Health and Care Quality Commission (CQC) will not serve as “enough” protection for vulnerable people, the letter notes that even in spite of ministerial statements that valuing people remains the government’s policy about people with a learning disability, many local services have begun de-prioritising its delivery, ever since the end of national and regional delivery support.
The letter – which comes following the abuse uncovered by Panorama at Winterbourne View – demands that local commissioners should be prevented from placing people in learning disabilities hospitals; and a two-year programme of change should see the shifting over of anyone in, at present, at these hospitals.
Noting that the ‘learning disability hospitals’ model “does not work and should be made unnecessary by competent local services,” the letter said: “Beyond a very small number of beds integrated with other local services for short-term assessment and treatment, and a small number of others linked to forensic needs, the provision of learning disability hospitals is wrong”!