Earlier this month ARC attended the Winterbourne View Concordat Signatories Event. As a Winterbourne View (WV) signatory we were there to represent the voice of providers.

Also in attendance was, Norman Lamb, Minister for Care and Support, who was interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ programme, reporting on the day. You can hear their report on ‘Assesment and Treatment’ centres and what the ministers and others had to say via the BBC programme link here.

“Failure is not an Option”

Addressing the signatories, Norman Lamb said that he wanted to see more progress with the work being done, stressing that,“failure is not an option”. Expanding on the task at hand, he prioritised the need to tackle what he dubbed “lazy commissioning”, and called for the WV Improvement Team to undertake deep dives into those areas at risk of failing some of the most vulnerable people.

Also present was Jon Rouse, Director General of Social Care at the Department of Health, who identified working in partnership with providers, commissioners and people with learning disabilities and their families as one of his top five priorities.

National Valuing Families Forum members, Ciara Lawrence, (Mencap’s self-advocate), Viv Cooper and Cally Ward gave powerful presentations to remind everyone of the people at the heart of this work, making explicit the desire for progress to be measured by what really happens to real people, not by paperwork and processes.

Questions were rightly asked about how the Winterbourne View patients are being supported at present and we highlighted the need to work with providers now to develop really good quality, safe, community-based alternatives. Also raised was how the funding in the system should follow the individual and not stay in an outdated, inappropriate services.

In response to questions about the budget allocations of the Improvement Board the Minister replied with a commitment to increase transparency and the news that a full disclosure of how much has been spent and on what will be included in the ‘one year on’ report due to be published shortly.

Hear the report on the BBC ‘You and Yours’ programme