Driving Up Quality Alliance – Driving Up Quality in Learning Disability Services

Association for Real Change is a member of the Driving Up Quality Alliance, which is a group of provider representative organisations that collectively represent 80% of all learning disability service providers in the country.

The Alliance was formed in direct response to the abuse at Winterbourne View, and is committed to taking steps to both avoid the recurrence of what happened at Winterbourne View and ensure people with learning disabilities, or behaviour that challenges, can look forward to an ordinary life with high quality support.

The Driving Up Quality Code is a voluntary code of conduct currently in draft set to be launched in September 2013.

Signing the Code is a way for providers and commissioners to publicly show their commitment to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, and for families, advocates and supporters to be empowered to hold providers to account. The Alliance is inviting all provider organisations to put their name to it and evidence how they meet or are working towards the code.

The Code says it wants:

  • To drive up quality in services for people with learning disabilities that goes beyond minimum standards.
  • To create and build a passion in the learning disability sector to provide high quality, values-led services.
  • To provide a clear message to the sector and the wider population about what is and what is not acceptable practice.
  • To promote a culture of openness and honesty in organisations.

As a result of the reviews, post Winterbourne View, we found out that  many organisations supporting people they find challenging were not meeting minimum standards.

We think that all providers need to take responsibility for making the services we provide better.

Alicia Wood from Housing and Support Alliance, outlining the Code to delegates at our recent Complex Interaction conference said: “As a sector we’ve never had a worse reputation… As an industry we need to take responsibility for our own behaviours… we need to have a social conscience.”

The Association for Real Change believes that the Driving Up Quality Alliance and the Code is a meaningful step towards improving the sector’s reputation and behaviours, and ultimately improving the lives of people with learning disabilities.