Change that leads to better lives

Winterbourne View – As we were saying earlier...

I was wondering whether to post a blog about the DH's 'one year on' report on actions following the Winterbourne View abuse - a report that, in all honesty, tries to dress up very limited progress in a large number of words - when I saw an excellent blog–post from Chris Hatton at the Centre for Disability Research.

Rob web

I liked it for two reasons – firstly it makes so many accurate observations. Secondly, I had always worried my blogs were a bit long – and Chris's is really long!! This led me to decide to try and write my shortest ever blog. Back in 2007, when I was National Director for Learning Disabilities, we decided to ask the late Prof. Jim Mansell to update and rewrite the earlier 'Mansell Report' on people who challenge services. When we asked Jim how long it would take, the surprising answer was - "two minutes". The reason, he said, was that he would write "I told you what to do in 1993. I was right then. I'm right now. Just do it".

Jim was right – but of course he then went on to produce a full and detailed update of his report. The same can be said about what now needs to be done by the DH and those responsible for delivering on Ministerial promises (in particular the Local Government Association and NHS England). There is a clear consensus from the field about what change is needed, with evidence and knowledge offered about how to achieve that. Sadly, this has not led to significant national or local action over the last year.

So in response to the DH report, I could write a long and frustrated tirade, repeating all the things that I and many others have said before. Instead I'd just like to refer people to five things:

After all, how many times can you keep on saying the same thing? All we are asking for is action to stop people being denied basic rights and experience a good quality of life? The Minister, Norman Lamb, wants it. Families and people want it. The sector wants it. It's time to do it.

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