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Charles H
Feb 28 2017 23:21 PM Post #121
Location : Base

Facebook 28th February 2017 The Delusion of Inclusion.(Continued)

David Towell. spokesperson, and former advisor to the King’s Fund Centre (KFC) , as a Fellow in Health Policy and Development, states with regard to ‘inclusion’ policies that:
“…the best current starting point is widely agreed amongst disabled people and their families to be the 2006 UNCRPD and the General Comments which seek to advance its implementation. This is clearly a 21st Century agenda for inclusion!”
The declaration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is, to my mind, just a box ticking exercise full of great hopes and expectations. I wonder how many families have actually heard about it? It is being used to justify the ghastly mistakes that misguided ‘inclusion’ proponents and organisations such as the King’s Fund Centre group have inflicted upon innocent victims.
To rectify the damage already done there is need to go back, as I have already done, to identify the prime proponents for supporting a one-size- fits- all ‘inclusion’ policy. The King’s Fund Centre could not have gained momentum for its drive to phase out vital structured and specialist support under its own steam, for the publication initially passed without interest or obvious comment.
It is necessary to look closer at the organisations and individuals that gave the KFC credibility it did not deserve, and in this respect the first major culprits were all the charitable organisations that did not challenge proposals that were so obviously fundamentally flawed. At that time, even the ‘man in the street’, with limited knowledge, could see how irrational these proposals were.
But what was to follow will raise searching questions about the nature and validity of support that was received from the Independent Development Council for People with Mental Handicaps with the publication of :
‘Living like other people’ (1985).
More details tomorrow.
Does all this historical stuff really matter? Yes, because it has so far been covered up very effectively by the individuals, academics, and organisations that are responsible for the current policy debacle and would much prefer that it remains covered up regardless of the cost to the families concerned.


I added a follow up on Facebook

Charles Henley
I should have mentioned that when these issues were current in many of the years that followed RESCARE run by Richard Jackson was the only organisation that put up a fight for both residential and day care services. it was the only organisation that gave me any support and the only one that I was prepared to work with. I hope they keep up the good work on all fronts.

Charles H
Feb 27 2017 12:49 PM Post #120
Location : Base

Facebook debate posted 27th Feb

David Towell Those of us who have taken the trouble to read many of Charles's very many postings over the last 30 years will certainly know by now that he is forever stuck with the idea that a 1977 pamphlet from the NDG should remain, 40 years later, the peak of our aspirations for the daily lives of people with learning disabilities. Fortunately, many people working locally, like Lawraine and her network have demonstrated that a better world is possible for Lawraine's daughter and indeed everyone who can find a similarly supportive network, despite the hugely damaging effects of 'austerity' on people who need the help of publicly funded services. (Actually that is all of us.) Meanwhile the highest authority the world has created in the defence of human rights, the United Nations, has generated international support for a Convention, the UNCRPD, which Charles would doubtless describe as based on 'extreme normalisation/inclusion dogmas' whatever that means: it's not, it's based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The best recently published account of what links local efforts to include disabled people as equal citizens with the global commitments of the UNCRPD is this book, 'Pathfinders', by our North American friends, John O'Brien and Beth Mount. Here is my review:

Charles Henley An interesting response, David, but you are a little out of date 
In my book:
LEARNING DISABILITIES The Rise and Potential Demise of Structured Day Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities 1955 - 2005, sent to you April 2007, you will find I covered the later Declaration of Rights (1975) fairly comprehensively.
What I mean by 'extreme normalisation/inclusion dogmas' are of the nature of the irrational proposals put forward by normally reputable organisations such as the King’s Fund Centre in 1984.and subsequently by the Independent Development Council in 1985. These encouraged the decimation of successful structured and specialist services including special needs sections in day centres by proposing that all of the attendees could be found paid jobs or spend up to 4 - 5 days per week for years at colleges of FE.
I still await , as I have done for many years, your justification for such irresponsible proposals. 
In the meantime, I add the comment made in my book with regard to the UN Declaration:
“It is worthy of note that whilst the UN declaration proposed that handicapped people should benefit from the right to have access to ‘a life as normal and full as possible’ it did not contend that this should preclude associating with their own peer groups. Nor did it imply that to share the company or activities of other handicapped people is demeaning or devaluing. It will later become apparent that these perceptions were, however, strongly held by some influential factions of the ‘normalisation’ lobby and were instrumental in supporting calls for extreme radical change. This major divergence of opinion was to become one of the major issues in subsequent debates - and still remains a central issue of dissention at this present time.”
You have been living in another world, David, I note that when you sought support 35 years ago you did not turn to the real hands-on international expert on ‘inclusion’ theories, Professor Wolf Wolfensberger (USA), but instead to another of the ‘thinking’ and ‘philosophizing’ breed. 
There is still much to be debated if events affecting the interests of carers, their adult children, and the general public are to be to be explored and fair judgements made. I will be making my own comments on my facebook page and welcome you to join me with your own unmoderated comments.Charles Henley
Like · Reply · 25 February at 18:09

David Towell

25 February 20:06

Charles, You continue to go backwards! I draw your attention again to the very impressive UNCRPD, developed with the global associations of disabled people and agreed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2006; characteristically you accuse me of being out of date and reference instead a 1975 declaration. May I commend you to actually study the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and subsequent efforts (like the UN 'General Comments') to guide its implementation. 'Thinking' can be useful.

David Towell 
Let's focus our efforts on supporting great people like Lawraine and her network in 2017. As I say in my respone to your identical message above, the best current starting point is widely agreed among disabled people and their famiies to be the 2006 UNCRPD and the General Comments which seek to advance its implementation. This is clearly a 21st Century agenda for inclusion!

Charles Henley 
David, Lawraine knows I admire what she is attempting to do for her daughter and others. But that is no thanks to King's Fund Report No. 50, as you will recall your campaign was to close centres for all levels of ability and get them all out to paid employment.A totally irrational and impossible fantasy that has been spread internationally by 'thinkers' out of touch with reality. I have invited you to discuss these issues on my Facebook page and leave Lawraine's page alone. Repeated references to the UN and 'Rights' adds up to nothing concrete as they are merely aims and objectives that simply raise false hopes and expectations but will provide neither finance nor jobs. Let us focus on realities that provide appropriate support services that get people out of ATUs and ensure that once out they will not end up going back in again. The 'thinkers' have created the debacle that care in the community currently has become - yet have come up with no viable alternative - its a one way route downhill. Can you come up with a logical explanation on my Facebook page so that anyone else who is interested can join in without overloading their own group postings?


Charles Henley
As spokesman for the King's Fund Centre's working party, has graciously agreed to debate the issues I am about to raise on this page concerning the long term effects of extreme 'inclusion' policies have had on current policy deficiencies.

Charles Henley The first question I posed is the following:
Charles Henley 26 February 15:46
Repeated references to the UN and 'Rights' adds up to nothing concrete as they are merely aims and objectives that simply raise false hopes and expectations but will provide neither finance nor jobs. Should we not focus on realities that provide appropriate support services that get people out of ATUs and ensure that once out they will not end up going back? The 'thinkers' have created the debacle that care in the community currently has become - yet have come up with no viable alternative - it's a one way route downhill. Can you come up with a logical explanation on my Facebook page so that anyone else who is interested can join in without overloading their own group postings?
Charles H
Feb 22 2017 19:44 PM Post #119
Location : Base

The Delusion of Inclusion Feb 22nd
Before referring to the con nection between the central items mentioned on yesterday’s posting I must point out that the process of change of policies takes time - years in fact.
As an instance, the current policy shambles are hardly testimony to the success of ‘Valuing People’ (2001), which, despite the attempted resuscitation, ‘Valuing People Now’ (2009), appears to have done little in fifteen years to avert or remedy the effects of the Winterbourne View scandal - or halt the continuing spiral of decline in service support.
Time then to return to the remarkable progressive advancement in day service modernisation between the publication of National Development Group Pamphlet 5 (1977) and the totally misleading and denigrating publication of the King’s Fund Centre’s, ‘An ordinary working life’ (1984) - a mere 7 years. This exposes and confirms the fragility and danger of the foundation upon which current extreme normalization/inclusion dogmas have been built - not just nationally, but internationally!
The King’s Fund Centre working group had clearly not fully read or absorbed the extensive work carried out at the Hester Adrian Research Centre - or carried out detailed research of its own. Although the King’s Fund Centre’s advisory panel were aware of the potential risks of re-institution being a high possibility they still encouraged the decimation of services vital to the wellbeing of the most severely and profoundly disadvantaged victims of today's policies.
More tomorrow; who supported the KFC in the early and later 1980s?
Charles H
Feb 21 2017 12:59 PM Post #118
Location : Base

The Delusion of Delusion - will it be exposed in time to reverse the ultimate
termination of care in the community?

And so we roll into 2017 with daily debates reminding us constantly of the chaos that surrounds social care funding, and the seemingly total failure of the NHS/local government organisations to identify a clear strategy to enable inmates in NHS and ATUs to escape from truly segregated establishments.
Every week that goes by ensures that carers and their families become more entangled in the web of duplicity that current policy makers have created to meet their own agendas - yet, amongst the carers there are sadly “none so blind as those who do not want to see”!
Those people most profoundly and severely affected still have most to lose as the “delusion of inclusion” continues to control policy direction. This is inevitable until the historic values preached and practiced by the original pioneers of rational care in the community policies are resurrected and valued for what they can offer - especially to those in ATUs.
So far, I have only drawn attention to the bizarre intervention of the King’s Fund Centre (KFC)I in 1984 that gave extreme normalisation/ inclusion dogmas unjustifiable and irresponsible credibility. This has grown so much out of proportion internationally there is need to look closer at its origins. The KFC document at the time was so irrational that it would have been treated with contempt and bypassed had it not received highly dubious and unwarranted support and publicity. Mencap and other local authorities have much to answer for in this respect. More tomorrow.


In closing today, I must mention a positive aspect of social history which will have a great deal of relevance with regard the information that is yet to follow. It is significant to note that whilst the proposals of the KFC were based on fantasies and conjectures, the successful development of day services in the 1980s was based on extensive research much of which was carried out at the Hester Adrian Research Centre, Manchester University in the 1970s under the supervision of Professor Peter Mittler.
Two highly important publications that followed were ‘A national survey of Adult Training Centres in England and Wales, (1977), and National Development Group Pamphlet 5 (1977) which gave extensive and detailed advice regarding the future modernisation of day centres.
This advice was warmly welcomed and acted upon by progressive day centre management with remarkable results. The negative outcome and the consequences that were to arise through the intervention of the King’s Fund Centre and its manipulation of the role of the National Development Group are open to question.
Feb 15 2017 19:44 PM Post #117
Location : Austria, Rettenschoss

Hi, its pleasant post about media print, we all know meedia iis a wonderful source of facts

Thank you for your post, Jovita, which I post for general consideration.Charles H
Charles H
Feb 14 2017 19:11 PM Post #116
Location : Base

Charles Henley
10 February at 23:20
The value and reputation of day centres has been taking a hammering over the past months. In the interests of looking at Day Centre issues from the carers point of view bear with me if I enlarge on my previous statement that the outlook for carers and their family members was better 50 years ago (when I first came into this work), than it is now.
For elderly parents the 1950s/60s era was a painful experience finding most of them spending 24 hours/7days of the week/52 weeks of the year looking after disadvantaged family members rather than despatch them to a totally segregated and impoverished lifestyles in remote and overcrowded residential institutions.
.The running down of these institutions in the 1960s saw a governmental change of attitude with recognition of how dependent it was upon parental support to enable these newly freed people to remain in the community.
Supported by Mencap {until the 1980s), carers groups pressed for and supported additional day centre capacity. For carers this meant 5 working days respite every week, some could take up jobs and others have a life of their own; they could be deeply involved in programme planning for their adult children, in the early days meals and transport being provided free. Day Centre Parents groups provided mutual support, and bonding with staff inspired confidence and continuity in joint training projects.
By 1980, not only did carers have continuous weekly support, but staff gave their time to run yearly holidays for the attendees and enabled carers to take an away weekly yearly break themselves. Day Centres became vibrant community centres created by the input of positively motivated carers who also welcomed the introduction of sheltered workshops for the more able people.
Those experts leading evolutionary service policies at that time had the insight and experience to complete a policy that would meet the approval of carers of people with all levels of ability - but they were denied the opportunity
Turn the clock fast forward to 2017 and what sort of deal are carers getting instead? The pressure is so great for day centre places that families are having to struggle to get a day or two of respite whilst their offspring lack the continuity that specialist and structured services could provide.
Centres are being passed back to voluntary and privatised sources whilst personal budget holders are left to purchase services at random from possibly dubious and psychologically damaging resources. Individuals have had to resort to setting up private enterprises again along the lines of those functioning well in the 1980s. Mutually supportive day care and special care units have been phased out of a continuity of opportunities for the most profoundly disadvantaged, whilst sheltered workshops and Remploy have been terminated despite the strong resistance and protests of those who worked within in them.
Currently, there is no clear indication that an achievable national strategic policy has been identified, nor how relevant the experience and qualifications are of those responsible for the present policy debacle.
In the 1980s carers saw and supported undeniably positive changes being put in place by experienced and caring pioneers. Today, they see the outcome of policies built on unproven dogmas and unrealistic expectations tearing rational care in the community apart.
For years I have believed that carers have been victims of the cruellest confidence scam in social history. That this continues leads me to cynically question whether this is all a part of a much deeper calculated process? Is the final objective to ensure that at the end of the day, the whole problem of taking care of the immensely complex problem is being dumped right back into the hands of the carers?
This could not possibly have happened in the 1980s when the strength of the unity of Day Centre families could have prevented it, but tactics being being followed currently have not only diluted this strength, but has set different sets of carers against other sets of carers. In this divisive situation, anything is possible.
Charles H
Feb 14 2017 14:56 PM Post #113
Location : Base

Dear Ms Tregelles
Chief Executive

Nothing personal, but I feel Mencap’s performance over many years has fallen far short of hopes and expectations. This has contributed substantially to the unprecedented current care in the community crisis seriously affecting the vulnerable people it claims to represent. Ignorance is no excuse as since 1985 I have contacted Mencap on numerous occasions along the lines of the attached messages to you and Mark Goldring in 2014. As recently as February 2016, I asked for support from Mencap for an open public debate - I still await a response. These are issues I intend to raise with the Charities Board.
With due respect, your executive team comes over as a team devoted to accumulating money and controlling larger numbers of staff as the corporate side of the business continues to grow There is little sign of the knowledge and experience needed to assess and make vital judgements needed if the 1.4 million people already embedded in the community are to receive justice and the prospect of a fulfilling life. Trust Board qualifications carry the same emphasis on money making and marketing.
Everyone would agree that expertise to raise funds to support the residential area is highly important and commendable, but nowhere on the Board charged with monitoring your powerful organisation does one member stand out as having the depth of experience and knowledge of the complexity of the issues to be addressed. Surely humanitarian policies for the wellbeing of those trying to survive would be better represented on a Trust Board with a more even balance of professional experts and carers?
National policy decisions are no longer made by experts but by the army of consultants with questionable credentials that sprang up when local authorities phased out the real experts. Fundamentally flawed dogmas persist, and the outlook grows increasingly bleak as care in the community support for the highest and lowest levels of ability have been turned back by decades through fatally flawed changes of policy that Mencap not only failed to challenge but encouraged.
My letter published in the Guardian recently drew attention to the serious breakdown in community support and called for “a rational, affordable, achievable, and equitable national care policy”. It concluded with “An open and informed debate in the public domain is urgently needed”.
The responses received since convey wide divisions in opinion but confirm that nationwide large number of groups are campaigning individually - a definite recipe for failure. But why are they left to campaign independently when Mencap labels itself “The Voice of Learning Disability”?
Surely this provides a narrow window of opportunity for Mencap to make partial amends for its past failings by opening the public debate urgently needed? This should be both on an independently moderated website and in the national media for those not online.
Yours sincerely
Charles Henley
Charles H
Feb 14 2017 14:51 PM Post #112
Location : Base


Based on the conclusion that continuing to fund residential special schools is a breach of the human rights of disabled young people, the Department for Education (DfE) launched an independent review  on 23 January, to examine the “outcomes and experiences” of children and young people attending residential special schools and colleges.

Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, was appointed to head the review. Three days later, Dame Christine published a highly-critical review into the care of disabled children and young people with challenging behaviour and complex mental health needs – including those in 52-week residential special schools – on behalf of the Department of Health (DH).This review, These Are Our Children, calls for urgent action at a national level to prevent these children being institutionalized at an early age whilst drawing attention to the huge cost to the taxpayer and low ambitions for improving their lives.
The review at this stage quite rightly addresses parallel issues to those of adults in ATUs, but that will not be the end of the story. In keeping with the predisposition towards total inclusion of her generation, Dame Christine drew attention to the downside of segregation.
It is to be hoped that the outcome of her review will be coupled with an awareness of the disastrous outcome that irrational inclusion policies have had for adults, especially the most severely and profoundly disadvantaged. I fear however, that this is only a forerunner to another attack on all special schools and that carers of more than a million children have cause to be concerned. It might also be helpful for them to look ahead and reflect on what awaits their adult children when school attendance years have passed
Jan 27 2017 20:01 PM Post #109
Location : Base


26th January 2017

Following yesterday’s postings I was asked “where I had acquired the knowledge”? The short answer is through bitter experience. I worked under five different local authorities, two in a managerial capacity. In my last post, I just happened to be in the very place where the potential for disaster was finally ignited.
Despite warnings given in writing in 1985/86 to my superiors, Mencap, and the King’s Fund Centre that the rational inclusion plans being implemented were sound, they chose to support extreme proposals that had been neither fully researched nor validated.
My failure to make them use common-sense has motivated my personal attempts to restore sanity to policy direction ever since. Extensive research enabled me accumulate all the verifiable evidence needed to confirm that policy direction over the past 30 years has been a predictable and avoidable disaster.
It will not be easy to condense the full unbelievable story of day care development into easy to digest posts, but I will try because it is a story the authorities and a lot of other people involved in a cover-up would prefer you did not know about.
To enlighten the academics who helped to create the current debacle, I wrote two books to counter their politically correct version of historical development. The first in 2005 was 177 pages outlining the true basic history of development, the second in 2014, a 286-page factual account of the impossible struggle to break through the cover-up of the confidence scam being carried out on carers and their families. Basic monographs of 70 and 65 pages followed in 2015 and 2016 to give an easy to read insight on what has been going on.
It has made not the slightest impression on any academics or the King’s Fund Centre’s segregation commitment. Although this flawed policy was built on the fantasies of groups of academics out of touch with the complexity of learning disabilities problems, and also out of touch with the real world proved to be an abysmal failure, the King’s Fund Centre’s spokesman continues to bleat its segregation mantra. This, even though it will deny the profoundly disadvantaged segregated in ATUs (and 24,000 similar cases at risk in the community), the nature of the services that thousands of them will need.
It does not take a very close scrutiny to recognise that the new ‘Transforming’ ‘policy does not address vitally essential aspects of these central issues but simply defers further action for another two years.


25th January 2017

This present time is without doubt the most critical in the history of service support development for ALL people with learning disabilities. Yet many carers are still unaware of just how grievously they have been misled when abundant evidence supports that they have been victims of one the most devious manipulations of communication and influence in social history.
If the most seriously and profoundly disadvantaged people and their carers cannot be treated in a humanitarian manner, what then are the chances that the needs of those with any level of ability will receive due consideration?
As it was pre-Christmas when I raised the basic issue of how things first went astray, please bear with me if I refresh and add further relevant information as new friends have since joined us.
After a slow and sometimes painful evolutionary process, by the mid-1980s support services were better than they had ever been and still evolving. Day support covered needs from special care to sheltered workshops. Community activities and integration was encouraged inside and outside of buildings - nobody was compelled to attend. Adults were then spending their days in buildings on industrial estates the same as many other family members and friends did, instead of going to spend their days in play groups - as many have now reverted to doing.
Much of the progress that took place in the late 1970s - 1980s was due to a dedicated team at the Hester Adrian Research Centre, Manchester University between 1975 - 1980. As will become apparent, it is regrettable that this esteemed team became replaced by a body whose motives and contribution might rightly be described as questionable.
Day centres were very much personal communities that were ideal for many who attended yet still left everyone free to seek ‘inclusion’ in the wider community in the evenings and weekends; isn’t that what ‘ordinary’ people do? But this did not suit proponents for more radical forms of ‘inclusion’.
The leading proponents, the King’s Fund Centre, decreed that day centres were ’segregating’ and ‘stigmatising’ people and regardless of the profoundness and complexity of their disadvantages they could all, with very few exceptions, be found paid employment and make day centres redundant.
That this proposal should be taken seriously defies belief, but it was, and strong evidence suggests that it was the key factor in the corruption of a rational ‘inclusion’ policy and brought about the decimation of vital support services. These are now vitally needed if the demand on ATUs is to be reduced but the new ‘Transforming’ process shows little sign that this need has been recognised. How did the KFC get away with something that was so blatantly irrational?
That will be the topic of my next posting coming shortly.


For years, I have called for an open and informed debate in the public domain to enable all who are affected to have their opinions heard. Today there is an opportunity for all who care and agree to support this appeal.
On the 18th January, I submitted the appended message to the Guardian - it was published today, the 20th of January under the heading: “We are all responsible for proper social care”. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate just how seriously the lack of social support affects the lives of your families - and get all your relatives, friends, and sympathisers to make an impact. Please contact the letters editor of the Guardian without delay - these opportunities do not come up very often.

“It is commendable that that 45 former directors of social services should draw urgent attention to the consequences of deprivation of funding for social needs (Letters 17th January 2017)’
Whilst there is much emphasis on the effect on the elderly, there is brief reference to the deficiencies relating to mental health provision. The question of meeting the widely diverging and complex needs of adults with learning disabilities receives no mention at all.
Have massive support deficiencies currently existing in this area of need been brought about through the lack of funding. or, as overwhelming evidence confirms, local authorities been given the task of implementing support provision for these people which they lacked the required experience and skills to do? The outcome over recent decades has been a spiral of decline that will soon be irreversible. 
To demand more finance without identifying a rational, affordable, achievable, and equitable national care in the community policy would only compound the errors of judgement that have brought untold misery and distress on far too many people already.  
An open and informed debate in the public domain is urgently needed.
Charles Henley Bournemouth 20th January 2017

Charles H
Nov 16 2016 13:20 PM Post #107
Location : Base UK

The handover of 200 NHS services to Virgin Care

The handover of 200 NHS services and especially three statutory services to private enterprise cannot demonstrate more clearly the depth to which the social and moral consciences of this nation have sunk.
That a nation will be judged by the manner in which it treats its more vulnerable citizens says it all.
Yet it was totally predictable, for the downhill descent of decency and moral values has been graphically spelt out in the appalling history of the devastation of support services for people with learning disabilities over the past 30 years.
By ignorance, default, or intent, those who purport to protect and advance the best interests of this most vulnerable section of our society have hypocritically and ruthlessly betrayed them.
Honours have been granted, fortunes have been made, careers have been enhanced, in the pursuit of fame, glory, financial gain and power by those who have used the innocents of our society as pawns to advance their own agendas.
The abdication of responsibility of social care to the extent that is now being revealed would not have happened so blissfully 30 years ago – it would have led to a massive reaction that the politicians responsible would not have survived. Press coverage and public reaction at that time would not have allowed this to happen on this pathetically casual basis.
But to whom do carers turn now? The press and media are only occasionally interested and selective in the short term unusual or sensational event but lack meaningful interest in long term preventative or moderation aspects of flawed policy applications.
To turn to Mencap would be a joke. This organisation has been so busy turning itself into a multimillion corporation (about £190,000,000 a year) it has lost touch with so many of their members it has lost its grip on the realities of the current situation.
The care in the community outlook has become so bleak for these people and their carers as the clock is being turned back half a century that the depression being created can only create immense future demands on an NHS that is already struggling to cope.
Regrettably, despite the horrendous outlook for the most vulnerable people in our society even at this momentous occasion in social history nobody has the slightest interest in redeeming the now badly and sadly soiled reputation of our country.
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