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Learning disabled were physically and sexually assaulted in units


David Brindle

Wednesday January 17, 2007

The Guardian


The NHS faces being stripped of its responsibility for learning

disability services after inspectors today issue the second damning

report in six months into the care of some of the most vulnerable

members of society.


People with learning disabilities had been subjected to physical and

sexual abuse at a hospital in London, according to an investigation by

the Healthcare Commission. One member of staff was jailed for six

years last summer after being charged with rape of a woman resident

who was considered unable to give consent due to her low mental age. A

second staff member had been given a suspended sentence for a sex

offence against the same woman a year earlier.


The report by the official healthcare watchdog into conditions at

units run by the Sutton and Merton primary care trust also reveals

that inspectors found another woman resident “for many years” had her

arm tied to a splint for most of the day, apparently to prevent her

putting her hand in her mouth and developing sores.


The investigation found people with learning disabilities living at

Orchard Hill hospital in Carshalton, south London, and other units run

by the trust had been treated in outdated and infantilising ways.

Living conditions were impoverished, routines arranged for the

convenience of staff and organised activities at the hospital provided

for less than five hours a week.


The commission’s findings follow its report last summer on abuse of

learning disabled people in services run by the Cornwall Partnership

NHS trust.


There, one man who had no speech, sight or hearing was tied to his

wheelchair or bed for up to 16 hours a day, ostensibly to stop him

harming himself. The commission is launching an audit of learning

disability services across England and will inspect 200 of them. Fiona

Ritchie, who heads the commission’s work on learning disability, said:

”People have lived like this for too long.”


But ministers are poised to step in before the commission uncovers any

more scandals, by ordering that the NHS surrender its lead role, and

will pass more than £2bn in funding to local councils.

A policy review within the Department of Health is nearing completion

after Ivan Lewis, care services minister, told parliament he intended

to strengthen local government’s role.


Rob Greig, the government’s co-director or “tsar” for learning

disability, told the Guardian: “This is another case where the NHS has

been shown to fail in commissioning services for where people live and

how they get support. My personal view is that the NHS should be

transferring responsibility to local authorities and focusing on

commissioning good-quality, mainstream healthcare for people with

learning disabilities.”


Sutton and Merton PCT is already preparing to hand over its role,

other than in the area of personal health. Caroline Taylor, its chief

executive, said: “I don’t think the PCT is the best organisation to be

providing learning disability services. Most people who use the

services primarily have social needs rather than healthcare needs.”

Councils control more than £3bn of learning disability services, but

the NHS in some parts of England has clung to the lead role and not

established working partnership arrangements with councils despite the

evolution of community care and the closure of long-stay hospitals.


Bleak house


A damning report into one of the last long-stay hospitals for learning

disabled people could be the final nail in the coffin for NHS

involvement in the service. By David Brindle


Wednesday January 17, 2007

The Guardian


When we sit down to eat, most of us do not have a large sheet of blue

tissue paper wrapped around our shoulders as an outsized bib. Yet when

healthcare inspectors came calling, staff at Orchard Hill hospital in

Carshalton, south London, had no compunction about being seen to do

this to some of the disabled adults they were caring for - and then to

feed them “at a speed that would not allow for any enjoyment of the

food”.

The episode encapsulates what the inspectors uncovered at Orchard Hill

- which will shortly be the last remaining long-stay hospital in

England for people with learning disabilities - and at other

facilities run by the learning disability service of Sutton and Merton

primary care trust (PCT). Institutional abuse was found to be

prevalent in most parts of the service, but it was abuse largely of an

unthinking kind, practised by staff who knew no better. “The overall

model of care ... promoted dependency,” the inspectors conclude in

their inquiry report, published today. “The culture was such that

staff concentrated on what people could not do, rather than what they

might be able to do.”


Several staff were heard referring to residents as “the children” or,

in the case of women, “girls”, and one senior staff member used the

term “babies” in conversation with the inspectors. The records of one

resident with communication difficulties were found to state that

”staff do not require communication training because the client does

not speak”.


Another set of records identified a need to find a mosque for the

resident in question. The report notes: “Staff said that this had not

happened, but that the person concerned seemed to enjoy the singing at

the local church.”


The report may prove the final nail in the coffin of NHS

responsibility for learning disability services. While it may not be

as immediately shocking as last year’s inquiry findings into abuse of

learning disabled people in Cornwall - and in this instance, by

contrast, the Healthcare Commission was asked to investigate by Sutton

and Merton itself - the picture is none the less a disturbing one of a

service that had been isolated from the mainstream, neglected by

senior management and stuck in a care timewarp. In the words of David

Congdon, head of campaigns and policy at learning disability charity

Mencap: “These are practices that were outdated 20 years ago, let

alone now.”


The NHS in England is already under notice to get out of provision of

hospital and “campus” accommodation for learning disabled people by

2010, meaning that almost 3,000 people must be rehoused, but the

prospect now is of the NHS being stripped also of the job of

commissioning services for this client group - other than for their

physical health - in parts of the country where it still does. This

would mean more than £2bn a year being transferred from the NHS to

local government, giving the latter overall control of some £6bn of

learning disability services and ending what many see as the

historical anomaly of the health service being responsible for people

who may be profoundly disabled but are not ill.


Ministers are committed to strengthening local government’s role, and

an internal Department of Health review, due to conclude by March, is

known to be leaning towards taking all responsibility away from the

NHS, fulfilling a vision set out more than 30 years ago.


It was in the mid-1970s that the health service last looked as if it

might lose this role. The then Labour health minister, David (now

Lord) Owen, was forecasting “more scandals, more [departmental]

circulars, but very little ... executive drive” if responsibility

stayed with area health authorities, the PCTs of their day. He

favoured creation of a “mental handicap executive” to oversee

establishment of a new caring profession within local authority social

services. An inquiry led by Peggy Jay was set up in 1975, but its

report was not published until 1979, by which time Owen had long since

left health, and a dying Labour government was in no state to take on

vested medical and nursing interests.


Almost all of England’s long-stay learning disability hospitals have

now closed: about 180 people remain to be moved out, including 93 at

Orchard Hill, where closure has been delayed in part by two legal

challenges. But what today’s report suggests, as did the one about

Cornwall, is that systemic problems are not confined to the old

hospitals, nor even to the hospitals and NHS campuses (clusters of

houses with some shared facilities), but may be found wherever the

health service retains lead responsibility for commissioning learning

disability services and has not developed true partnership

arrangements with local government.


Although standards were found to be somewhat better at Sutton and

Merton’s community houses, where 59 people live and where some good

practice was observed by inspectors, the houses are by no means

exempted from censure. Indeed, the houses were the settings for some

of the 15 serious incidents that are reviewed in the report and that

occurred over 36 months to November 2005 - including the rape of a

woman resident by a member of staff, who was jailed for six years last

July. A year before that attack, a second staff member was charged

with committing a sex act with the same woman and was subsequently

given a suspended jail term. Both men were dismissed.


Despite such incidents, the PCT appears, at least until last year, not

to have had learning disability services at the forefront of its

concerns. The inquiry report notes: “Performance reports to the PCT’s

board did not include any mention of the learning disability service

and focused on A&E and acute services. Issues identified in the

minutes of the learning disability quality committee were not reaching

the PCT’s governance committee and were not therefore reaching the

PCT’s board.”


Rigid routines


Given this, it is scarcely surprising that the inspectors found most

of the accommodation for learning disabled people to be unsuitable,

that staff were under strength and lacked training and specialist

input, that routines were rigid and activities limited - one survey

indicating that Orchard Hill residents spent less than five hours a

week outside their living areas - and that staff were often unaware

they were using physical restraint, on which there was no policy.


Congdon says this reflects a wider malaise. “The impression you get is

that where learning disability services are tacked on to organisations

that have got much broader responsibilities, no one is very interested

in what’s going on,” he says. “Consequently, you get outdated

practices carrying on for ever and a day.”


Rob Greig, national co-director or “tsar” for learning disability,

seems to concur. “I am absolutely appalled by what has been

identified,” he says. “My sympathies go out to the people and their

families for what has happened, which should not have happened, and

it’s sad to see that these things are still happening in services

nowadays. But we need to emphasise that these failures and this abuse

have occurred, as in Cornwall, in outdated NHS residential provision

that was either institutional in nature or run in institutional ways.


”Like the abuse in Cornwall, this occurred in services that were being

run by the NHS, rather than the local authority and NHS working

together in partnership. It’s greatly to be welcomed that the PCT and

the local authorities now have a jointly appointed senior manager and

are putting together a joint strategy, but the lesson is that the NHS

should not be doing these things on its own.”


The Healthcare Commission gives credit to Caroline Taylor, the PCT’s

chief executive, for inviting it to investigate shortly after her

appointment in November 2005. She says the report and its

recommendations are fully accepted. “At a time when the PCT was faced

with many pressures, we took our eye off the ball and paid too little

attention to the day-to-day running of the learning disability

service,” she says. “We now have new management in place, with new

systems, and we won’t fail our residents from now on.”


System of reporting


A measure of the state that the service was in is that the PCT has

acted to increase staff numbers in learning disability by no fewer

than 147. It has also transferred responsibility for commissioning

services to the Sutton and Merton local authorities, “to allow the PCT

to concentrate on providing the service, with a new, regular system of

reporting to the board”.


Orchard Hill is now scheduled to close by 2009, with most of the

people living there moved out by the end of next year. A timetable is

being drawn up for closure of Osborne House, a campus-style site in

Hastings, East Sussex, where the PCT provides care for 30 learning

disabled people. According to the government’s national commitment,

this should shut by 2010.


What role the NHS will by then have in respect of learning disability

across England is now uncertain. After Cornwall and Sutton and Merton,

the starting point for any rethink will be that services must never

again be allowed to slip out of sight or mind. As Greig says, today’s

report highlights “the absolutely central importance of services being

open to the wider world so that the people who live there - and the

staff - are interacting with the local community and can see and

experience real life”.


www.healthcarecommission.org.uk

__._,_.___

NOVEMBER 2006

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Posted: 24 August 2006 | Full Article


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Posted: 24 August 2006 | Full Article


London councils pool procurement to save money and reshape services

Six councils in south-west London are clubbing together to commission learning difficulty services to control costs and reshape services around users' needs. Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth councils believe collaboration will give them the economies of scale to move care from residential settings to supported living. The initiative comes amid rising pressures on learning difficulty services, as more children with complex conditions survive into adulthood and adults live longer, and rising expectations from users and their families of independent lives. A report last year by the Association of Directors of Social Services found rising cost pressures on learning difficulty services and that in most parts of the country three-quarters of spending was on institutional day and residential services.

Posted: 24 August 2006 | Full Article


Cardiff strike looms over day care plans

Cardiff social care staff could strike over council plans to reorganise day care services for people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 24 August 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties and employment

The largest employer of people with disabilities is Remploy, the national agency that provides work and support to 9,000 disabled people. Mainstream employers simply do not employ disabled people in the same numbers, and this is especially true regarding people with learning disabilities.

Posted: 24 August 2006 | Full Article


Learning difficulties: Cornwall families speak out. A special report

Following an investigation that revealed widespread abuse of people with learning difficulties at Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust, families have faced a further blow over Cornwall Council’s cuts to learning difficulties services. Reg Broad, chair of East Cornwall Mencap, estimates that around 200 people with learning difficulties moving from health care into general services are getting inadequate provision.

Posted: 23 August 2006 | Full Article


Create national service framework for people with learning difficulties, say professionals

The government should create a national service framework for people with learning difficulties, say professionals who have launched a consultation on the issue.

Posted: 22 August 2006 | Full Article


The Dyslexia Handbook 2006

In the complex world of dyslexia, any handbook that seeks to pool a collection of resources, articles and discussion threads from an array of contributors is going to be welcome, writes Mike Lane.

Posted: 18 August 2006 | Full Article


Talks on care costs of education places

A proposal for the Learning and Skills Council to stop funding the health and care costs of education packages for people with learning difficulties or disabilities is being discussed in government.

Posted: 18 August 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...David Bradder

David Bradder, 22, attends Craegmoor Healthcare's vocational skills centre for people with learning difficulties

Posted: 18 August 2006 | Full Article


Delay in closing long-stay hospital leaves 93 residents unsure of future

People with learning difficulties have been left in limbo in one of the last remaining long-stay hospitals four months after it was due to close.

Posted: 18 August 2006 | Full Article


Training materials: Faith in Practice: Including People with Learning Disabilities in Faith Communities

This is a sensitive and sensible analysis of people with learning difficulties and their faith and, in turn, the impact this has on the wider faith community, writes Peter Iweanya.

Posted: 18 August 2006 | Full Article


Assaults on mental health and learning difficulties staff: special report

The NHS and police this week pledged to get tough on violence against health and social care staff.

Posted: 16 August 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties still living in Surrey long-stay hospital

People with learning difficulties have been left in "limbo" in one of the last remaining long-stay hospitals four months after it was due to close.

Posted: 16 August 2006 | Full Article


Independent Living Fund extends eligibility

The Independent Living Fund has extended its eligibility criteria to some former residents of long-stay hospitals.

Posted: 11 August 2006 | Full Article


Plan to cut health and care elements of education for disabled people criticised

Learning and Skills Council proposals to stop funding the health and care elements of education for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are criticised in a report today.

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Sexual abuse against people with learning difficulties

We examine the issue of sexual abuse against people with learning difficulties in light of new legislation.

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Question from Community Care - Why councils should employ more people with learning difficulties

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Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Question from Community Care - Helping people with learning difficulties live independently

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Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Cornwall cuts may face legal challenge

Campaigners are planning to take Cornwall Council to judicial review after its cabinet waived through a range of cuts to adult social care services.

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


The Big Question

Is there ever an excuse for paying less than the minimum wage to people with learning difficulties?

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Courses cut for adults with learning difficulties as skills priorities shift

Courses for adults with learning difficulties are being cut across England due to government training priorities, it has emerged this week.

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Why councils should employ more people with learning difficulties

Employing people with learning difficulties is a social duty and local authorities should be setting a good example, says Blair McPherson

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Comment: How phone calls can become a nuisance

The phone can be such a help for vulnerable people but call centres are often the reverse, argues Jennifer Harvey

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Craig Jones

Craig Jones, 21, has a learning difficulty and uses KeyRing Living Support Networks in Wrexham

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Job opportunities study 'hidden away'

The government has been accused of burying a key report on employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Jobs and learning difficulties: the barriers

The handling of a study on barriers to employment facing people with learning difficulties suggests that the issue remains politically marginalised. Mithran Samuel reports

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Helping people with learning difficulties live independently

Kate Linsky looks at how beacon councils have been helping people with learning difficulties live independently

Posted: 10 August 2006 | Full Article


Cornwall Council could face judicial review over cuts to adult services

Cornwall Council could be taken to judicial review by campaigners after its cabinet passed a range of cuts to adult social care services.

Posted: 09 August 2006 | Full Article


Report on work for people with learning difficulties delayed and marginalised

The government has been slammed for delaying and then marginalising a key report on employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 08 August 2006 | Full Article


Hard work finding jobs despite Valuing People

When the Valuing People white paper was published in 2001 one of the key issues flagged up was a lack of job opportunities for people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 07 August 2006 | Full Article


Separate client group assessments planned for adult social services

Councils will be judged separately on their performance for each adult social care client group in the future, to counter concerns that older people’s services dominate current assessments.

Posted: 07 August 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties and employment - special report

The report of the Working Group on Learning Disabilities and Employment was written 18 months ago, but only published last week.

Posted: 04 August 2006 | Full Article


Service cuts proposed by council criticised in abuse investigation

Cornwall Council has angered campaigners by proposing to cut services for people with learning difficulties as it tackles a £3.6m funding shortfall in adult social care.

Posted: 03 August 2006 | Full Article


Are private providers a return to institutional care for people with learning difficulties

Long-stay hospitals for people with learning difficulties are being closed, while private providers queue up to fill the gap. Mark Hunter asks if the trend heralds a return to institutional care by the back door

Posted: 03 August 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties are in a good position to stop abuse

It's disgraceful. It's terrible. It shouldn't happen. We have heard about three places in England where they are investigating abuse of people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 03 August 2006 | Full Article


From supported living to independence

Al Davidson finally realised a lifelong ambition and moved into his own house, and it feels good

Posted: 03 August 2006 | Full Article


Workers with learning difficulties paid less than minimum wage

A “worrying” number of employment providers for people with learning difficulties are paying workers less than the minimum wage, a new report has revealed.

Posted: 01 August 2006 | Full Article

JULY 2006

Cornwall Abuse - Special Report

While attention has centred, rightly, on the shocking physical and emotional abuse in the learning difficulties services run by Cornwall Partnership NHS trust, the systemic failures and the lessons to be learned, several other practical questions remain unanswered.

Posted: 31 July 2006 | Full Article


Cornwall Council plans cuts to services for people with learning difficulties

Cornwall Council wants to cut services for people with learning difficulties as part of proposals to tackle a £3.6 million funding shortfall in adult care.

Posted: 31 July 2006 | Full Article


Wiltshire Council staff under pressure over cuts in services

Adult services staff in Wiltshire are being placed under huge stress by the council’s cuts to services, Unison has claimed.

Posted: 28 July 2006 | Full Article


Data-sharing deal for health checks

Social services' and doctors' leaders in Wales appear to have reached an agreement over data sharing which will allow people with learning difficulties access to better health care.

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


Comment: Left on the wayside

A bypass generally has positive connotations: a heart bypass to cure a medical condition or a road bypass to stop traffic running through a village, say.

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


Charities welcome Remploy proposal

Disability charities have praised proposals to give more disabled people supported job placements in the community.

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Raymond Morling

Raymond Morling, 82, has learning difficulties and is a Craegmoor Healthcare resident

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties study for qualification in storytelling

In the first project of its kind, a group of people with learning difficulties are studying for a qualification in storytelling while improving their communication skills. Alex Klaushofer reports

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


Residents 'trapped' in former NHS units denied move into community

Many people with learning difficulties in residential care are being "bypassed" in the government's drive to move people into the community.

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


Day centre axes writing course for people with learning difficulties

Brian Griffin has much to thank his day centre for but now managers have axed a course that inspired him

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


'Stress on services' behind wave of assaults on mental health staff

Staff working in NHS mental health and learning difficulty services suffered 120 physical assaults a day last year, official figures reveal.

Posted: 27 July 2006 | Full Article


Wiltshire Council consults with service users over care rationing

Wiltshire Council is to launch a major consultation with service users over plans to ration social care and cut the costs of transporting people to day services.

Posted: 26 July 2006 | Full Article


Hospital at centre of Cornwall abuse investigation to close

Budock Hospital in Cornwall, which was at the centre of an investigation into abuse of people with learning difficulties, is to close.

Posted: 24 July 2006 | Full Article


Learning Disability Partnership Boards

The boards, established in October 2001, were announced in Valuing People , the White Paper on learning difficulty services published in that year. The Department of Health's intention is that the boards, which will exist in all local authority areas, should build on existing inter-agency planning structures. They will be concerned with services for adults. Children’s services will continue to be dealt with by children’s services planning structures. The boards work within the overall framework of local strategic partnerships (qv). They are not be statutory but are responsible for developing the joint investment plan for ensuring the White Paper’s objectives; overseeing inter-agency planning; commissioning of comprehensive, integrated and inclusive services which offer real choice; ensuring that people are not denied a service due to lack of competence or capacity among service provi

Posted: 21 July 2006 | Full Article


National employment scheme for disabled people must modernise

Remploy, the national agency providing employment for disabled people, was yesterday ordered by the government to modernise, but a complete closure of its factory network was ruled out.

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


Nicola Smith - new learning disabilities 'tsar'

Co-national director for learning disabilities Nicola Smith sees her task as keeping the NHS on its toes and moving people out of residential care. Maria Ahmed reports

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


Wiltshire's disabled people pay the price of cost shunting and deficit

Disabled people in Wiltshire have condemned moves by the council to cut services as it tackles financial deficits.

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Gavin Harvey

Gavin Harvey lives at a supported living house in Suffolk run by United Response and has learning difficulties

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


National 'tsar' Smith sets out her agenda

Staff working with people with learning difficulties need more training to help prevent abuse, Nicola Smith, the government's co-director for learning disabilities, told Community Care

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


Inclusion plus extra help is best option

Mainstream schools with additional special needs resources offer the best education for children with learning difficulties, according to an Ofsted report.

Posted: 20 July 2006 | Full Article


Sixty second interview with forensic psychologist Professor Susan Hayes on offenders with learning difficulties

A visiting professor at Bristol University, Hayes conducts research (in the UK and Australia) and clinical work (in Australia) with offenders with learning difficulties.

Posted: 19 July 2006 | Full Article


Disabled people face a “scandalous” lack of legal protection against moves to force them into institutional care, Lord Ashley of Stoke, the Labour peer behind a bill to support independent living, has claimed.

Posted: 18 July 2006 | Full Article


Supporting People

This programme aims to improve the quality of the lives of vulnerable people – from young people to older people with learning disabilities by proving a stable environment which enables greater independence. It supports high-quality and strategically planned housing-related services that are cost effective and reliable and complement existing care services. The emphasis is on making planning and development needs led. The programme works in partnership with government, voluntary agencies, public bodies, support agencies and service users. Address: 1/G6 Eland House,

Posted: 17 July 2006 | Full Article


Give service users more jobs in mental health, urges report

The NHS should employ more people who have used mental health services, according to a report published yesterday by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and Disability Rights Commission.

Posted: 14 July 2006 | Full Article


Review of independent living services for disabled people announced

The government’s Office for Disability Issues is to carry out a review of independent living services for disabled people, including individual budgets.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Direct payments cut by Wiltshire Council

Disabled people in Wiltshire are outraged by the county council's decision to withdraw direct payments for leisure opportunities.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Research on joint training in learning difficulties nursing and social care

Joint working between health and social care is all the rage but the field of learning difficulties has been pioneering a joint practitioner role since the 1980s. Dave Sims looks at new research on the success of the role

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Comment: Opening up family courts

Last summer, the Daily Mail memorably (mis)reported the case of social workers in Essex "stealing" children from parents with learning difficulties.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Comment: Cornwall abuse of adults

Care services minister Ivan Lewis hit the nail on the head when he said society needed to rethink its attitude towards abuse of vulnerable adults and treat the issue as seriously as it does child abuse.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Bournewood carers call for investigation

The carers at the centre of the landmark Bournewood case are demanding an independent investigation into alleged ill-treatment of HL, a person with severe learning difficulties, when he was illegally detained on a psychiatric unit.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Carl Mayers

Carl Mayers has learning difficulties and has lived on the streets. He uses the KeyRing Living Support Networks in Wrexham

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Police may not be able to prosecute staff named in Cornish trust inquiry

Staff who allegedly abused people with learning difficulties at Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust could escape prosecution because of the trust's failure to involve the police when the allegations first came to light.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Lewis pledges to tackle adults' abuse

Care services minister Ivan Lewis has pledged to tackle the abuse of adults with learning difficulties.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Heng: Abuse of adults in institutions must stop

One man, in his forties, was tied up, in his wheelchair, for up to 16 hours a day. The staff claimed they did this to prevent him from slapping himself in the face

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


HL learning difficulites case: Carers demand inquiry into Bournewood treatment

People with learning difficulties are still suffering institutional abuse, as last week's Cornwall report showed. Here, Janet Snell hears a first-hand account of such abuse from HL and his carers, the people at the centre of the landmark Bournewood case

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Training Material: Good Practice in Physical Interventions: A Guide for Staff and Managers

This is a well-written and thoroughly researched book that is thought-provoking and very informative, writes Julie Duncalf.

Posted: 13 July 2006 | Full Article


Charity raises fears over the Welfare Reform Bill

Many voluntary sector organisations may be required to act to their client group’s disadvantage under the Welfare Reform Bill’s proposals, a leading disability charity warned this week.

Posted: 10 July 2006 | Full Article


Ivan Lewis condemns policy of sending people with learning difficulties to live in hospitals

Care services minister Ivan Lewis has launched a scathing attack on what he described as retrograde moves to put people with learning difficulties back in institutions.

Posted: 06 July 2006 | Full Article


Offenders with learning difficulties need help

Offenders with learning difficulties are missing out on treatment and rehabilitation that meets their needs, say researchers at Bristol University today

Posted: 06 July 2006 | Full Article


Inspectors slam treatment of people with learning difficulties in Cornwall

Two national inspectors have slammed the “widespread lack of understanding” about the rights of people with learning difficulties after uncovering years of institutional abuse, including physical abuse, at a Cornwall NHS trust.

Posted: 05 July 2006 | Full Article


Cornwall abuse case - the reaction

Detailed responses from people in the sector about the Cornwall abuse case involving people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 05 July 2006 | Full Article


Welfare reform bill published

The long-awaited welfare reform bill was published by the government today.

Posted: 04 July 2006 | Full Article

JUNE 2006

The tough lives of learning difficulties carers

Parents who are carers often do a good job despite leading chaotic lives, writes Jennifer Harvey


Posted: 29 June 2006 | Full Article

Day services manager at Yarrow Housing Adam Koronka is making a film with people with learning difficulties

Having taken the stage comedy musical genre to the extreme with Dumped - The Musical, we set down a new path this April when we began filming Coping Strategies - a 30-minute surreal comedy about three flatmates with learning difficulties, their lives, their loves and their struggles to cope with the world.


Posted: 29 June 2006 | Full Article

Cash shortage may hit equality duty

A new duty on public authorities to promote disability equality could be undermined by a lack of funding, Unison's local government service group conference was warned this week.

Posted: 23 June 2006 | Full Article


Scottish support shortfall identified

Many people with learning difficulties in Scotland are still not being offered support to help them gain full-time work and develop relationships, a survey has found.

Posted: 23 June 2006 | Full Article


A man with Down's syndrome and speech difficulties rows with his mother who is struggling to care for him.

The disabled children's team and day services could provide information about Grant's history enabling the social worker to identify when reviews have taken place and when the current care package began. It is not clear who set up the day services but this is likely to have been an adult or transition social worker.

Posted: 23 June 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties should not get ASBO's

The public behaviour of people with learning difficulties can be problematic, but can the issuing of antisocial behaviour orders ever be a suitable response, asks Paul Ramcharan and colleagues

Posted: 22 June 2006 | Full Article


Make information clear, says Mencap

Benefit and tax offices are the worst offenders among organisations failing to produce information that is easy to understand for people with learning difficulties, according to a survey published today by Mencap.

Posted: 20 June 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column: A service user's view of social care

There are some people who still think that life was much simpler when people with mental health problems, learning difficulties or physical disabilities could be shut away in asylums.

Posted: 15 June 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...

Josie Payne receives services from Hillcrest Portswood Domiciliary Care. She has learning difficulties.

Posted: 15 June 2006 | Full Article


Hope for help

Disabled children and their families have been left behind in the drive to improve children's services. Now charities have put their hopes on a government review. Amy Taylor reports

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Lack of co-ordination

Ruth Sharpe's seven-year-old-daughter Celia* has Sturge-Weber syndrome. She has epilepsy, learning difficulties and motor development delay. She is also a wheelchair user and has a few words of identifiable speech.

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Ann Waters

Ann Waters has learning difficulties and receives services from Hillcrest Portswood home care in Hampshire

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Call for more clarity on advocates' role

Planned government guidance on the new Mental Capacity Act must give more clarity on the role of advocates, campaigners have warned.

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Finding keepers

A joint venture between a day service and an environmental agency in west London is employing people with learning difficulties as volunteer canal keepers. Graham Hopkins reports

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Wedding bells at last

This Life: A new residential home manager proved the catalyst for fulfilling Ron Gentry's dreams of marriage

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Website Review: www.anncrafttrust.org

The Ann Craft Trust is a UK based organisation working with staff in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors to protect people with learning difficulties who may be at risk of abuse and to support professionals, families and carers, writes Winnie McNeil.

Posted: 12 June 2006 | Full Article


Set up to fail as parents?

Is prejudice the reason why so many parents with learning difficulties lose their children? Janet Snell reports

Posted: 09 June 2006 | Full Article


Unions point finger over discrimination

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has condemned employers that do not give jobs to disabled people who are keen to work.

Posted: 02 June 2006 | Full Article


Job opportunities squeezed by disc rimination

The lack of disabled people working in the public sector has prompted the Disability Rights Commission to probe job discrimination, writes Maria Ahmed

Posted: 02 June 2006 | Full Article


Training materials: My Money Matters: Guidance on Best Practice in Handling the Money of People with a Learning Disability

Banks and other financial services should be disgraced by the real stories used in this useful guide to illustrate the problems people with learning difficulties face when trying to manage their money, writes Mandy Johnson.

Posted: 02 June 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng column

Pete and Shabaz on Big Brother are being allowed to do exactly what disabled people want: to be given an equal opportunity.

Posted: 02 June 2006 | Full Article


Propelled into uncertainty

Young people with both a learning difficulty and mental illness risk slipping through the care net in their transition years if adults' and children's teams continue their rigid structures, says Damian Cummings

Posted: 01 June 2006 | Full Article


MAY 2006


Independent living for disabled people: special report

The freedom to choose where you live and what type of accommodation is something we all take for granted but disabled people don’t currently enjoy such basic rights.

Posted: 28 May 2006 | Full Article


Past masters

The history of people with learning difficulties is a largely hidden and uncomfortable one. However, a project in Hertfordshire is looking back in order to move forward. Graham Hopkins reports

Posted: 25 May 2006 | Full Article


Pilots find self-directed services save money

Self-directed support for people with learning difficulties can be achieved using existing resources, according to an unpublished evaluation of the In Control pilots which was presented to delegates.

Posted: 25 May 2006 | Full Article


Show some support

Parents with learning difficulties are often separated from their children due to concerns over well-being and a lack of relevant professional help. It need not be like this, say Linda Ward and Beth Tarleton

Posted: 25 May 2006 | Full Article


Thinking too big

“Small is beautiful” goes the old economist’s slogan, and if you’re a gnat on the back of the NHS giant the attractions of the sentiment are obvious.

Posted: 18 May 2006 | Full Article


Campaigner is now first national ‘tsar’

Self-advocacy campaigner Nicola Smith has been appointed to the first national director post for a person with learning difficulties.

Posted: 18 May 2006 | Full Article


Learning disability trust aims to split from NHS and set up social firm

A learning disability NHS Trust is seeking to break free from NHS control and set itself up as a social enterprise, in what is thought to be the first move of its kind.

Posted: 18 May 2006 | Full Article


Money spent on learning difficulties services does not improve lives

Councils are “wasting” money on learning difficulties services that do not improve people’s quality of life, Community Care Live heard today.

Posted: 17 May 2006 | Full Article


Alternatives to traditional day services for people with learning difficulties are key

Using ordinary community spaces rather than specialist facilities is key to providing successful day services for people with learning difficulties, delegates heard at Community Care Live today.

Posted: 17 May 2006 | Full Article


Interview with new learning difficulties tsar Nicola Smith

Nicola Smith, a self-advocacy campaigner and trainer has been appointed as a government learning difficulties tsar.

Posted: 15 May 2006 | Full Article


New learning diffiuclties tsar appointed by Ivan Lewis

The Department of Health has appointed a new tsar to help lead the government policy on learning difficulties, new care services minister Ivan Lewis announced today.

Posted: 12 May 2006 | Full Article


Parents without power

As increasing numbers of people with learning difficulties are able to live independent lives, it is only natural that more of them want to become parents.

Posted: 12 May 2006 | Full Article


In a Liverpool limbo

Shivakuru Selvathurai and his family have been waiting for an asylum decision for four long years

Posted: 11 May 2006 | Full Article


Children removed from parents who fail to qualify for support, says study

Many parents with learning difficulties are assessed as "too able" to qualify for the services they need and end up having their children removed because they do not receive support, a new report claims.

Posted: 11 May 2006 | Full Article


Radical review of supported housing is needed

Inspectors have called for a “radical review” of supported housing for people with learning difficulties, as there are growing concerns as to whether current models of support, particularly single person tenancies with one to one support, are sustainable.

Posted: 09 May 2006 | Full Article


Parents with learning difficulties need better support

Many parents with learning difficulties are classed as “too able” to qualify for the services they need and end up having their children removed because they receive support too late, a new report.

Posted: 09 May 2006 | Full Article


New care services minister to address Community Care Live

The new minister for care services Ivan Lewis will be attending our massive two-day annual event Community Care Live 2006 next week.

Posted: 08 May 2006 | Full Article


'Buzzing since i came back...'

…says Hugh Torrance about his trip to Tulsa and New York to learn more about how US agencies support people with learning difficulties. In the first of two articles on winners of the Isabel Schwarz Fellowship Award, he tells Natalie Valios what he found

Posted: 05 May 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Colin McMillan

Colin McMillan, who has learning difficulties, attends Newmarket Community Resource Unit

Posted: 05 May 2006 | Full Article


Criticism for work interview proposal

Mental health campaigners have criticised plans in the welfare reform green paper to cut the benefits of people who fail to take part in work-focused interviews.

Posted: 03 May 2006 | Full Article


60 second interview

David Towell is director of the Centre for Inclusive Futures. He is also an adviser to the government’s beacon scheme for innovation by local authorities, in the Valuing People category. The beacons were awarded last week.

Posted: 02 May 2006 | Full Article

APRIL 2006

Andrew Holman's latest Blog

It's odd somehow how some things seem to go in cycles; everyone’s getting married, children all over the place or a run of deaths.

Posted: 25 April 2006 | Full Article


People with learning difficulties advised on staying safe

Advice for people with learning difficulties on protecting themselves from crime is published today in a new Home Office booklet.

Posted: 24 April 2006 | Full Article


Vulnerable people to have legal right to advocacy

Vulnerable people who are unable to make decisions for themselves will have a legal right to advocacy support under government proposals published yesterday.

Posted: 20 April 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

A service user's view of social care

Posted: 20 April 2006 | Full Article


‘Many families with disabled children are not being assessed’

Labour MP Ed Balls, a close ally of chancellor Gordon Brown, tells Amy Taylor of his plans to improve support for disabled children and their families

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article


Councils gain cash to reshape services

Councils will receive help to address spending pressures on learning difficulties services through a three-year initiative run by the Care Services Improvement Partnership, the Department of Health confirmed this week.

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article


Councils ready to promote equality

Councils are well-prepared for a new duty that will require them to promote equality for disabled people, government-backed research has found.

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article


Probe into Valuing People concerns

The Commission for Social Care Inspection is to investigate whether severely disabled people are benefiting from Valuing People.

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article

Battling the resistance

A man with severe learning difficulties is cared for by his family which is in crisis and refuses external help. Our panel advises

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article


I'm proud of my work

Debbie Nash feels her life has taken off now that she has a steady job and is involved with a user group

Posted: 13 April 2006 | Full Article


Why people with learning difficulties self-harm to be explored

Research into why people with learning difficulties self-harm is to be conducted by Bristol University and charity Bristol Crisis Service for Women.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Planning for sex

A scheme in south London is providing mentors for service users, parents and staff in an effort to tackle the unease surrounding sex and sexuality with people with learning difficulties. Graham Hopkins reports.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Direct payment dilemma

Our multidisciplinary panel considers the case of a man with learning difficulties whose carer parents are getting too old to cope.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Bear next door

Letter from Nordland county, Norway.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


A farewell to giros

Moves to automate the payment of benefits have a long way to go, according to Gary Vaux.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Start and stop

Being looked after can affect disability living allowance and child benefit, writes Gary Vaux.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Best evidence

Social services and police in Staffordshire are working together to improve collecting evidence from people with learning difficulties - with positive results for all concerned. Graham Hopkins reports.

Posted: 12 April 2006 | Full Article


Return to the past?

Letter from Norway. A decade ago, Norway closed its institutions for people with learning difficulties, preferring community support for them. But the institutions might return, writes Gunn Strand Hutchinson.

Posted: 11 April 2006 | Full Article


Pictures of health

Illustrated health information leaflets have been drawing inspiration from the needs of people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 11 April 2006 | Full Article


Breaking barriers

The academic study of disability may itself be disabling for the group being studied, but a new course seeks to break down this effect by involving people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 10 April 2006 | Full Article


This is your life

Life story work has improved the quality of life and care for people with Down's syndrome in residential homes and taught staff to look at clients afresh. Graham Hopkins reports.

Posted: 10 April 2006 | Full Article


Frontlines: Disabled people and public transport

Public transport is still far from inclusive from the point of view of disabled people, writes Jennifer Harvey

Posted: 06 April 2006 | Full Article


MARCH 2006


‘Many families with disabled children are not being assessed’


Labour MP Ed Balls, a close ally of chancellor Gordon Brown, tells Amy Taylor of his plans to improve support for disabled children and their families

Posted: 31 March 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Florence McQuilter

Florence McQuilter has used the Quarriers’ Calvay project in Glasgow for the past 10 years

Posted: 30 March 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

A service user's view of social care

Posted: 30 March 2006 | Full Article


Trying something new

Karen Evans leads a fulfilled life by seeking out new experiences and contributing fully at her day centre

Posted: 30 March 2006 | Full Article


60 second interview

David Towell is director of the Centre for Inclusive Futures. He is also an adviser to the government’s beacon scheme for innovation by local authorities, in the Valuing People category. The beacons were awarded last week.

Posted: 29 March 2006 | Full Article


'We need to get social care intervening at an earlier stage'

Dropping free home care for disabled people earned the Welsh health and social services minister criticism from social work. But now, he tells Derren Hayes, he wants to raise the profession's profile

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Help is just a phone call away

Support for new parents who are disabled is rare. Sarah Bartlett reports on The Disabled Parents Network’s Support Service, the winner of Community Care’s 2005 Maureen Oswin Memorial Award

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Benefit of experience

The move from service user to professional is encouraged by the government, although critics raise concerns about objectivity. Anabel Unity Sale talks to some who have crossed the threshold to find out what they can offer

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Website review


www.mencap.org.uk

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Card school

Children who communicate poorly or cannot speak are at particular risk of neglect in residential schools. But, given time and expertise, non-verbal ways of communicating can be developed, writes Renuka Jeyarajah-Dent

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Cash shortage in Oxfordshire leads to cut in single tenancies support

People with learning difficulties in Oxfordshire could be denied the choice to live on their own as financial pressures in the sector continue to hit councils.

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


'We have developed a mentoring approach'

In 2003 specialist provider MacIntyre Care reviewed its child care practice and procedures as part of its quality assurance process at its two schools.

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


High Court no to Northants review

Campaigners have failed to win a judicial review of Northamptonshire Council's plans to cut 13 services for people with learning difficulties and other vulnerable groups.

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Beacon awards for learning difficulties

Four local authorities have been awarded beacon status for their work with people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 23 March 2006 | Full Article


Who to turn to now?

The closure of three advice services has made life harder for staff and service users, writes Gary Vaux

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Frontlines - the social effects of dog owing

One of our team of practitioner columnists gives her take on the social effects of dog ownership

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Training Material: Men with Learning Disabilities who Sexually Abuse: Working Together to Develop Response-ability

This is an updated version of the ground-breaking Response-ability by the same authors.

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Ethnic minority project may provide reduced service as funding crisis hits

The biggest national learning difficulties project for improving services for ethnic minority communities faces an uncertain future if long-term funding is not found.

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Fears for learning difficulties services

Councils are being urged not to cut learning difficulties services to alleviate spending pressures.

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Living fund increase too small for some

A rise in Independent Living Fund payments for disabled people announced last week will be too little to pay highly skilled personal assistants, campaigners say.

Posted: 16 March 2006 | Full Article


Campaigners fail in bid for judicial review

Campaigners have failed to get a judicial review of Northamptonshire Council’s plans to cut 13 services for people with learning difficulties and other vulnerable groups.

Posted: 15 March 2006 | Full Article


Learning difficulties project in funding crisis

The biggest national learning difficulties project for improving services for black and minority ethnic communities faces an uncertain future if new funding is not found.

Posted: 14 March 2006 | Full Article


Mental capacity draft code of practice launched

The government published a draft code of practice on the Mental Capacity Act today that sets out safeguards for acting on behalf of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Posted: 09 March 2006 | Full Article


Independent Living Fund grants go up

Maximum grants by the Independent Living Fund to severely disabled people will rise from April, the government announced today.

Posted: 09 March 2006 | Full Article


Ambassador for Achievement

After several failed attempts at independent living, Nick Evans, who has learning difficulties, wanted to try again. Sarah Pilkington and Adey Stevens tailored support services to help him succeed. Graham Hopkins reports

Posted: 09 March 2006 | Full Article


New members on disability employment committee

A committee advising the government on the barriers to finding work faced by disabled people and how to tackle them has appointed a number of new members today.

Posted: 06 March 2006 | Full Article


People moves

VENNETTA JOHNSTON has joined Newham Council as executive director for adults, culture and community services

Posted: 03 March 2006 | Full Article


FEBRUARY 2006


A hard act to follow

The new chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Allan Bowman, has a very hard act to follow; Jane Campbell is quite simply a one-off.

Posted: 24 February 2006 | Full Article


Eyebrows raised as institute picks chair

Further concerns have been raised about the voice of service users among policy-makers after the Social Care Institute for Excellence appointed a former social services director as its new chair.

Posted: 24 February 2006 | Full Article


Disability group issues redundancy notices as it wrestles with cash crisis

A leading user-run disability organisation has revealed that it is facing serious financial difficulties and has issued its staff with redundancy notices while it awaits news on new funding.

Posted: 23 February 2006 | Full Article


Disability groups condemn Welsh government's U-turn on free care

The Welsh assembly government has ditched its manifesto pledge of free home care for disabled people because it claims it cannot afford to pay for the policy.

Posted: 23 February 2006 | Full Article


Job file

People in social care talk about the reality of their role

Posted: 21 February 2006 | Full Article


Training Materials - I'm Gonna Go For It

This 35-minute DVD is for people with learning difficulties who undergo heart surgery. It is also for their families, writes Carolien Thollebeek.

Posted: 16 February 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

After my recent experience as a victim of financial abuse, I was talking to a number of people who are involved in the protection of vulnerable adults in my area.

Posted: 16 February 2006 | Full Article


Commissioning to solve funding crisis

The Department of Health has uggested "substantial" funds will help councils tackle the funding crisis in learning difficulty services through improved commissioning.

Posted: 16 February 2006 | Full Article


Special report on the Scottish executive's response to the 21st Century Review of Social Work

New measures for social care in Scotland were announced by the Scottish executive this week.

Posted: 10 February 2006 | Full Article


Person Centred Planning and Care Management with People with Learning Disabilities

There are many important issues facing the care management system today in the light of person-centred planning and approaches, and you would be hard-pressed to find a better collection of insightful and radical thinkers in this area than those featured here, writes Matt Dore.

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Training Materials: Enhancing Self-Esteem: A Self-esteem Training Package for Individuals with Disabilities

Enhancing Self-Esteem: A Self-esteem Training Package for Individuals with Disabilities Nick Hagiliassis and Hrepsime Gulbenkoglu, Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 1843103532, £29.95 STAR RATING: 3/5 Healthy self-esteem is widely viewed as critical to the psychological well-being of us all. The authors believe - and many others will agree - that healthy self-esteem is particularly relevant to disabled people, writes Carolien Thollebeek . The book is designed for adults with physical and multiple disabilities and is most suitable for people with a mild intellectual disability or severe communication impairment or both. As the package includes pictographic symbols accompanied with easy-read text material, it appears to me that people who are able to express themselves orally,

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Open Forum

Could able-bodied people show as much patience as those with disabilities have to if they were patronised, asks Simon Stevens

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


If you ask me...Charlotte McMaster

Charlotte McMaster has learning difficulties and receives services from Hillcrest Care in Sussex

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Protests at delay to easy-read paper

Campaigners have slammed the government's failure to make the welfare reform green paper accessible to people with learning difficulties.

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Concerns over quality as lower cost of outsourced services is revealed

Councils spend significantly more on adult services they provide than on care they commission, new figures reveal.

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Welsh to extend advocacy funding

The Welsh assembly government has extended funding for learning difficulty advocacy groups after an influential report warned services could close without new cash.

Posted: 09 February 2006 | Full Article


Job file

People in social care talk about the reality of their role

Posted: 08 February 2006 | Full Article


Special report on the health and social care white paper

The new health and social care white paper launched this week by health secretary Patricia Hewitt contains policies with which it would be hard to disagree.

Posted: 03 February 2006 | Full Article


'Government has abused our charitable status'

Scope chief executive Tony Manwaring tells Sally Gillen how the charity ended up with a £10m hole in its finances

Posted: 03 February 2006 | Full Article


Training Materials: Speaking Out: A guide for advocates for children and young people with learning disabilities

A clear, well-presented guide which is aimed at being a resource for advocates, writes Jason Upton.

Posted: 03 February 2006 | Full Article


Suffering in silence

A man with learning difficulties says his carers - relatives of his mother's boyfriend - have assaulted him. Our panel advises.

Posted: 02 February 2006 | Full Article


'It's fantastic!'

Extra care housing has been used to give older people independence but it can also dramatically improve the lives of disabled people, writes Jim Ledwidge

Posted: 02 February 2006 | Full Article


Frontlines - Older carers

The caring role is usually reversed as people grow older. Our parents care for us in our childhood. But in middle age many of us care for our parents, to some degree.

Posted: 02 February 2006 | Full Article


Let disabled people have jobs and benefits

The government wants to save taxpayers’ money by coercing thousands of people off incapacity benefit and into work. But is this drive to get us all into work a dangerous proposition for society?

Posted: 02 February 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

It appears the government has listened to disabled groups in putting together its plans for incapacity benefit reform – but only to a point.

Posted: 02 February 2006 | Full Article


New DDA duty may prevent inappropriate asbos

A new duty under the Disability Discrimination Act could help to prevent young people with disabilities and mental health problems inappropriately being given antisocial behaviour orders, a Community Care conference heard today.

Posted: 01 February 2006 | Full Article


JANUARY 2006


Profile: Prue Nielsen

Careers in social care

Posted: 31 January 2006 | Full Article


Sixty Second Interview

Sixty Second Interview with Hazel Morgan, co director at The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

Posted: 27 January 2006 | Full Article


Learning difficulties' services need to change, says ADSS

Local authority services for people with learning difficulties must change, Margaret Goldie, the Association of Directors of Social Services’s lead on learning difficulties said at Community Care Live Adult Care Services today.

Posted: 27 January 2006 | Full Article


Training Materials

Supporting a Child with Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour

Posted: 20 January 2006 | Full Article


Apology for Bournewood pair for

The couple caring for a severely autistic man at the centre of the landmark Bournewood incapacity case were subject to a whispering campaign by clinicians, an investigation has ruled. NHS investigators upheld a complaint that staff in the former Bournewood Community and Mental Health Trust made detrimental references to the mental health and competence of one of the carers. And they made unfounded suggestions that the couple refused to co-operate with a psychological assessment of the man. The report, by Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust (SBPT), which has replaced Bournewood, found the couple were never made aware of the allegations or given the opportunity to respond to them. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in October 2004 that the man, known only as HL, was unlawfully deprived of his liberty when he was detained at Bournewood Hospital for three months in 1997. HL, who it was agreed lacked capacity, brought legal proceedings against the m

Posted: 19 January 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

I recently took part in a conference organised by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which focused on service user involvement in the inspection process.

Posted: 19 January 2006 | Full Article


Success at a stroke

Anita Linton explains how her swimming prowess has transformed her ability to concentrate

Posted: 19 January 2006 | Full Article


Website Review: 74 Ways of Upsetting A Disabled Person

74 Ways To Upset A Disabled Person was originally published as a humorous booklet.

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Training materials In the Know: Implementing good practice. Information and tools for anyone supporting people with a learning disability and dementia

This ring-bound resource pack is aimed at "anyone", which is its strength, writes Noelle Blackman.

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Scope in bid to slash 10m deficit

The charity Scope is to embark on an urgent cost-cutting programme in a bid to stave off financial ruin. Front-line services and 50 of its 300 shops are expected to close.

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Therapy brings self-control

A man with learning difficulties refuses to accept responsibility for his inappropriate sexual behaviour until undergoing psychotherapy which, says Richard Curen, has helped him come to terms with the past. Graham Hopkins reports

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Matchmakers

There are huge barriers in the way of people with learning difficulties when it comes to dating someone with a similar disability.A north London project, Stars in the Sky, won the overall prize at last month’s Community Care Awards for its innovative work in breaking down these barriers. Natalie Valios reports

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Sarah Rigby has learning difficulties and receives support services from Hillcrest Care in West Sussex

Posted: 12 January 2006 | Full Article


Sixty Second Interview with Victor Adebowale

Sixty Second Interview with Victor Adebowale

Posted: 06 January 2006 | Full Article


Why I love my job

Social care staff on the joys of the profession

Posted: 06 January 2006 | Full Article


What we want in 2006

Six service users tell Anabel Unity Sale what changes would improve their lives in 2006

Posted: 05 January 2006 | Full Article


Unfinished business

What does the new year hold for social care? Will the government prove that it has listened to – and heard – the views of service users and practitioners? Katie Leason speculates

Posted: 05 January 2006 | Full Article


The Simon Heng Column

A service users view of social care

Posted: 05 January 2006 | Full Article


The Big Question

If you had one new year wish, what would it be?

Posted: 05 January 2006 | Full Article


Social services director and former charity chief honoured

Roger Singleton, who recently retired as chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo's, was awarded a knighthood for services to children in the New Year’s honours list.

Posted: 05 January 2006 | Full Article