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Charles H
May 05 2015 13:03 PM Post #66

This is not a political appeal but a suggestion for those who have no strong political leanings who think a change might help. All the major parties have responsibility for the current decimation of care in the community.

As proven by the Winterbourne View scandal and the desperate situation of many carers, 'Care in the Community' is currently a debacle. Something radical needs to happen and the election could offer a very faint hope for the future. 
As many of you will be aware, for years I have been appealing for an objective and open debate in the public domain to enable carers and practitioners have their say regarding the nature of support they seek or give whether structured and specialist or financial - there is no one simple answer. For the first time in years I have been fortunate enough to have an influential and highly respected leading professor in this field openly agree with many of the points I am raising. 
In a review of my book published in the latest edition of the reputable journal of the Royal College of Nursing, Learning Disability Practice (March 2015):
LEARNING DISABILITIES Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View?
Professor Duncan Mitchell, professor of health and disability at Manchester Metropolitan University did not agree with all of my views (which is not surprising), but he does agree that Winterbourne View shows there is something seriously wrong with the way services are organised; he agrees that local specialist services are essential for many; and he agrees that debate on the nature of these services is needed. Maybe the wind of change has started to blow - you all need that debate - but you will not get it from the main political parties who are directly responsible for the injustices and traumas that have already befallen carers - and have threatened professional standing and qualification - failings that are rapidly increasing.
Although Ukip has not raised this issue in its manifesto, I believe they can be persuaded to call for a judicial inquiry if given enough influence with local councils or seats in parliament. None of the other parties offer hope in any direction. 
If any of the major parties get total control the community care situation can only get worse - unless you already have strong political leanings please think carefully when you cast your vote - and if you do not usually vote make an exception this time.
Is it time for new representation in Parliament? According to the polls Ukip is likely to be the biggest single minority party after the SNP that could possibly be able affect policies - but will need support to be effective.
Beyond the election -I have written an abbreviated version of my reasons for questioning the validity of the premises upon which day care and residential policies have been proposed and implemented during the recent decades - but it will not surface until the election is out of the way

charles H
Jan 27 2015 15:12 PM Post #64
Location : Base

Addendum
National Development Pamphlet 5 was the product of a well researched study over two years of all the best practices that could help adults across a wide spectrum of disabilities from mild to profound. This included a variety of activities of all natures both inside and outside of the building. Its principles were based on the recognition that all people with learning disabilities could have the capacity to develop if given skilled input and the right opportunities.
King's Fund Project Paper No 50 presented as a 'vision' based on conjecture and fantasy,
The authors admitted that they did now know how to bring this vision to reality but incredibly expected Local Authorities to work it out. Winterbourne View and the fact that about 3500 people are still in similar type accommodation says much about the lack of ability of LAs to respond with community based alternatives.
charles H
Jan 27 2015 15:08 PM Post #63
Location : Base


It will come as no surprise to Rob that I personally hope and believe that Winterbourne will become a catalyst for positive change.
However well meant his intentions I fear that along with many others in positions of influence he has been grievously misled by the urban myths that took root in the 'dark days of the 1980s'. Rob suggests that we are in danger "of slowly slipping back into a 1980’s mindset of seeing them as a dependent ‘group’ for whom we need do no more than provide basic custodial care".
Those 'dark days' did not exist as they have been so conveniently portrayed. In the 1970s/80s there were three types of day centres; those run by the older staff who could not adjust to change, those that focussed too heavily on work occupation, and those run by staff who were members of the National Association of Teachers of Mentally Handicapped (NATMH) who followed the principles outlined in National Development Group Pamphlet 5 (1977) and the advice of the pioneering psychologists who successfully helped liberate tens of thousands from institutions.
Regular NATMH meetings held in the South of England left no doubt that the vast majority of centres were running comprehensive progressive programmes intent on gaining greater independence and integration into the community for all of their attendees regardless of the severity or complexity of their disabilities.
This successful evolutionary process was brought to a halt in the late 1980s by the radical introduction of the one-size-fits-all doctrinaire. The King's Fund Centre Project Paper No 50 'AN ORDINARY WORKING LIFE (1984)' declared that all people attending day centres regardless of the severity or complexity of their disability could be found paid open employment and as they did not need specialist or structured input all day centres should be closed.
In 1985 the Independent Development Council, an organisation consisting of a number of leading charities led by Mencap, supported the King's Fund Centre and enabled the one-size-fits-all doctrinaire to gain the credibility that has underpinned current policy direction for both day care and residential care support for over a quarter of a century
As reputable documentary evidence within the public domain confirms that community support services have been in a spiral of decline since 1991 I would suggest that resorting to institutional care was predictable, inevitable, and directly linked to the mistake made when local authorities were allowed to take control of these people's lives in the 1980s. It was a fatal mistake to give LAs this responsibility, compounded by giving it to them without clear strategic guidance; for these reasons I feel that service users and carers needs would best be served if lead in service provision was taken back by the NHS. But that is another issue.
In conclusion I would contend that there is no devaluation in being a part of a 'dependent group' but there is a good deal of shame in denying that group specialist and structured services that they need and deserve.
Charles Henley
Charles H
Jan 27 2015 15:05 PM Post #62
Location : Base

On the 6th Jan 2015 Rob Greig (leader of NDTi and main architect of VALUING PEOPLE) posted a message on the NDTi Website outlining his concerns that Winterbourne View scandal has not had the positive reaction that he had hoped for or expected. Attention was also drawn to this message on the Choice Forum 19th Jan 2015. Rob makes reference to the dangers of slipping back into the negative period of the 1980s.
I felt that it was time again to challenge the urban mythology that built up in the 1980s when anti-day centre radicals deliberately denigrated day centres principally because they had no sound alternative to put in place.
Below is my response direct to Rob Greig by email - a much similar message was emailed to the Choice Forum.
.
Charles H
Nov 26 2014 22:52 PM Post #59
Location : Base

Winterbourne View Report 26th November
I regret having to predict that this latest contribution to the Winterbourne View scandalous saga will resolve very little - it will transfer these unfortunate people into 'the community' where their problems will remain but cease to attract attention. It is only the numbers that are currently involved that justifies media attention.
Once dispersed these people will join the many thousands of other families already leading deprived and traumatised lifestyles arising from the decimation of vital support services. The clock is being turned back half a century as Care in the Community sinks without trace.
A Winterbourne View outcome has been predictable for decades. Evidence supports the view that Care in the Community policies have been influenced by the wrong people and implemented by the wrong authorities. Structured and specialist services vital to enable these special people to survive in the community have been decimated. Nothing will change until fundamentally flawed doctrinaires have been exposed as unrealistic and unachievable - but nobody with influence really wants to know.
At best it can only be said of those responsible for the current policy debacle that they were well intentioned. At worst it could well be seen as one of the cruellest confidence scams played on the most vulnerable people and their carers in social history
Yours sincerely
Charles Henleyuthor:
LEARNING DISABILITIES The Rise and Potential Demise of Structured Day Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities. 1955 - 2005. (ISBN 9 781899 499 199 ) Published 2006
The second earlier this year:
LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View? (ISBN 978-1-899499-68-7)
Charles H
Nov 26 2014 22:50 PM Post #58

Winterbourne View Report 26th November I regret having to predict that this latest contribution to the Winterbourne View scandalous saga will resolve very little - it will transfer these unfortunate people into 'the community' where their problems will remain but cease to attract attention. It is only the numbers that are currently involved that justifies media attention.
Once dispersed these people will join the many thousands of other families already leading deprived and traumatised lifestyles arising from the decimation of vital support services. The clock is being turned back half a century as Care in the Community sinks without trace.
A Winterbourne View outcome has been predictable for decades. Evidence supports the view that Care in the Community policies have been influenced by the wrong people and implemented by the wrong authorities. Structured and specialist services vital to enable these special people to survive in the community have been decimated. Nothing will change until fundamentally flawed doctrinaires have been exposed as unrealistic and unachievable - but nobody with influence really wants to know.
At best it can only be said of those responsible for the current policy debacle that they were well intentioned. At worst it could well be seen as one of the cruellest confidence scams played on the most vulnerable people and their carers in social history
Yours sincerely
Charles Henleyuthor:
LEARNING DISABILITIES The Rise and Potential Demise of Structured Day Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities. 1955 - 2005. (ISBN 9 781899 499 199 ) Published 2006
The second earlier this year:
LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View? (ISBN 978-1-899499-68-7)
Charles H
Oct 23 2014 10:37 AM Post #56
Location : Base

In a Sunday Express article 19th October 2014 Jonathon Powell commented on a comment made by Lord Freud under the heading:
Lord Freud it wrong - we all have to work
.......................
Jonathon Powell is making the same mistake as that made by many influential commentators on the fringe of disablement issues - he is treating disabled people as a homogeneous group - they are not. From the most profoundly intellectually but physically able person with learning disabilities to the most severely physically handicapped person with the highest level of intellectual capability these people are all individuals requiring widely ranging levels of specialist and/or structured support.
As I understand, Lord Freud was responding to questions raised by the father of a very severely physically and intellectually impaired daughter and in that context Lord Freud was quite right in responding as he did although he might well have done so more sensitively.
Tragically, a rational care in the community policy that took into account the occupational needs of this section of the community has irresponsibly and almost maliciously been destroyed. It is totally irrational and unrealistic to propose that thousands of these people should be paid the minimum hourly wage if they have not got the ability to justify it.
Nevertheless they should not be denied the opportunity to enjoy the therapeutic benefits that the right kind of occupation can bring as well as making a contribution to society. The reality is that they are 'special' people and a valuable productive asset that has been ignored.
Instead, all of the facilities that could have been used to their benefit - Adult Training Centres/ sheltered workshops and Remploy have mindlessly been destroyed leaving the lives of many of the attendees at these establishments and the lives of their carers in turmoil - but who cares?
Government and local authorities have lost their way and nothing will change until the folly of pursuing current policies is recognised as the disaster it has been
Charles H
Oct 16 2014 14:34 PM Post #55
Location : Base

October 16th 2014

Lord Freud has rightly been taken to task for making unwise comments regarding the payment of wages to people with disabilities. The response, however, from many quarters is blatantly hypocritical particularly from those with professional responsibility for the interests of people with learning disabilities; particularly so in the light of the more outrageous proposals made by an influential organisation that influenced the policies being followed today. King's Fund Centre 'normalisation' Report No.50 ; An Ordinary Working Life' proposed that day centres and sheltered workshops should be closed and instead all should be relocated in ordinary working locations.
KFC paper proceeded to propose a number of job sharing options for people with learning disabilities, which would mean two or three people sharing the same pay packet. One instance actually proposed a handicapped person and one non- handicapped person working together which could result in one person doing anything between 1% and 99% of the work!!!
Despite this policy document being replete with contradictions, unrealistic expectations, and irrational conjectures no charitable organisation or influential academic challenged its contents; in fact they were, with few exceptions, all supportive and reinforcing.
This allowed a fundamentally flawed and irrational doctrinaire to become the main driving force underpinning day centre policies initially, residential policies later - and ever since.
This has directly led to the decimation of vital care in the community support services, untold misery for the most vulnerable, and must be held accountable for day centre closures, the Winterbourne View outcome and the closure of Remploy factories. The KFC Report's flawed doctrinaires contending that sheltered employment is discriminatory, stigmatizing and isolating has been use to justify Remploy closures - it is noteworthy that the strongest objectors to these closures were the workers, the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
The alarming fact is that the authors of this Report and its disciples have learnt nothing from its disastrous consequences - they are still considered to be the 'experts' in this field - there is now a desperate need for new realistic and enlightened leadership if some semblance of service is to be salvaged from the current care in the community debacle.
I have been striving for years to get open and informed debate in the public domain - but have consistently come up against a brick wall apart from the 'trade' publications such as Community Care, the Royal College of Nursing journal Learning Disability Practice, and the British Social Workers Journal.
Lord Freud's irresponsible indiscretion has sadly hurt the feelings of many people. My view is that the irresponsibility of the King's Fund Centre many years ago has inflicted irretrievable damage on care in the community support for the most vulnerable in our society and it is shameful that there have been so few challenges over the years by those who are protesting so loudly now.
Charles
Oct 14 2014 14:28 PM Post #54
Location : Base

October 14th 2014
Thanks to good work by my grandson, Charles, my facebook page has now been upgraded.
Charles H
Jul 18 2014 16:48 PM Post #53
Location : Base


Guardian meeting chaired by David Brindle sponsored by Hampshire County Council
An act of support for carers.
I view with a deep sense of sadness and déjà vu the hopes and expectations raised at your meeting of 9th July 2014. Have we really learnt so little from the Winterbourne View scandal concerning resource availability and the disastrous consequences of failing to recognise the complexity of the problems being addressed?

"We have been waiting for years for a moment like this. It's a fantastic opportunity to build a platform for the future. We are building for the next few decades and what we are doing will have a profound impact on lives over that period."

"But there is real concerns whether the resources will be available to turn aspirations into reality."

Turn the clock back a quarter of a century and review the position of carers of the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens in the mid-1980s when over 50,000 residents had been released from incarceration in institutions into the community. This was primarily achieved successful by the availability of a variety of residentiai and day care support options.

Thanks to the growing development of day centres as 'resource centres' carers were able to benefit from full time relief five days a week whilst their severely disadvantaged sons and daughters benefitted from belonging to a community within which they could be actively involved in recreational, educational, occupational, and social activities. Assessments and individual personal programmes were the order of the day and more able people were encouraged to have work experience leading to open employment or assist others by taking part in voluntary activities.

Over a quarter of a century on this has all fallen apart, The infrastructure of specialist support services that enabled 50,000 adults to leave institutions (including a whole range of residential options, appropriate day care, specialist mental welfare officers, specialist staff training) has been systematically dismantled leaving many carers without adequate or appropriate support. Why?

Nevertheless, day centres and residential resources are still relentlessly being closed and parents and carers struggling to retain the support they provided are fighting losing battles. Sending people to Winterbourne View was tantamount to resorting to re-institutionalisation - a potential possibility for many more victims as specialist and structured day and residential options become decimated. The people shown being criminally ill-treated in the Panorama documentary were not in need of £3500 a week containment - they were simply similar to so many of the 50,000 who had been effectively integrated by the so called 'traditional' support services three decades earlier.

Until carers acquaint themselves with the extent of the problem and fight for change they will continue to be overwhelmed and frustrated by local authorities. This is specifically true of carers of people with severe learning disabilities who need specialist and structured service support.

In the interests of a level playing field on behalf of carers I have put controversial thoughts on paper concerning the events that led to units such as Winterbourne View becoming expensive options of the last resort. This is intended to be a contribution to any on-going debate if and should this arise but this will be of little avail until a journalist concerned with equitable standards of service support and social justice takes a deep interest in exploring the origins of current policy problems nothing is likely to change for the better.

Yours sincerely

Charles





.LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View? (ISBN 978-1-899499-68-7) (First Published May 2014)

Price £8.99 plus p & p £2.50. charles.henley7@gmail.com

or see Amazon

FOR CARERS, direct from charles.henley7@gmail.com - £8 for the book but £10 (including p & p) if posted.

This exposition is in effect a sequel to my publication nine years earlier:

LEARNING DISABILITIES The Rise and Potential Demise of Structured Day Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities. 1955 - 2005. ( ISBN 9 781899 499 199 ) which is still available in limited numbers direct from charles.henley7@gmail.com

For more information please see my website www.learningdisabilitiesproblems.co.uk
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