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Charles H
Jun 18 2014 15:39 PM Post #51
Location : Base

Message to Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation 18th June 2014
..........................

Mencap/Challenging Behaviour Foundation:
The Winterbourne View Scandal Continues

I have read with sadness details of your latest appeal; The Winterbourne View Scandal Continues and once again the process of expecting the Prime Minister and the Government to resolve problems beyond their capability rolls into action.
The reality is that for years appropriate specialist resources needed both to finalise the exit flow from institutions and provide a continuum of opportunities with security for all levels of ability within the community have been lacking - clearly there has been a policy vacuum.
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. Yet the irrationality of continuing to close stable residential accommodation and day centres with the probability of compounding the 'Winterbourne View' problem carries on relentlessly.
The resources carers seek are just not available; neither does there appear to be a master plan that will provide them in the foreseeable future. The least the Government should do and carers should press for is a moratorium on any further closures or reductions in service support and a debate on future policy direction - the present process does not make sense until informed and objective debate has identified a rational and achievable way forward. This will not be feasible until the Government broadens out its panel of advisers - there is need to seek 'second opinions' from experts who have not been overwhelmed by unrealistic modernisation and normalisation doctrinaires and could make a valuable contribution towards a return to sanity.
For many years I have campaigned for the suspension of 'revolutionary' normalisation until the fundamental issues of policy were explored and debated. I have failed dismally.
I cannot profess to know all of the answers but am acutely aware of the background from which valuable lessons could have been learnt - but were missed.
In the interests of a level playing field and particularly on behalf of carers I have put my thoughts on paper as a contribution to any on-going debate if and should this arise.
These views are expressed in:
.LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View? (ISBN 978-1-899499-68-7)
Price £8.99 plus p & p £2.50. Minster Press or 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.
........................................................
I would be pleased to send you an email copy of the book contents (286) pages free of charge if you would like a sight of the contents.
charles H
Jun 18 2014 15:33 PM Post #50
Location : Base

Support message to Rosa Monckton 18th June 2014

I listened to your excellent contribution to the BBC 4 programme; thank God you do not give up easily.
I am in despair of these Chief Executives with their ongoing mantras that 'inclusion is what their residents are asking for'. Do they not realise that they have been brainwashed by the very people who drummed up doctrinaires based on mythology and flawed premises?
The policy vacuum that has resulted finds Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation looking for 3250 alternative places to Winterbourne View type units that are currently clearly non-existent.
Doesn't the Minister recognise that 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. The irrationality of continuing to close stable residential accommodation with the probability of compounding the 'Winterbourne View' problem beggars belief.
The least the Government should do is put a moratorium on any further closures or reductions in service support - the present process does not make sense until informed and objective debate has identified a rational and achievable way forward. This will not be feasible until the Government broadens out its panel of advisers - there is need to seek 'second opinions' from experts who have not been overwhelmed by unrealistic modernisation and normalisation doctrinaires
but could make a valuable contribution towards a return to sanity.
Will it happen? I very much doubt it - but don't give up hope, you might yet succeed.
Very best wishes
Charles
Charles H
Jun 18 2014 11:11 AM Post #49
Location : Base

Mencap/Challenging Behaviour Foundation:
The Winterbourne View Scandal Continues

I have read with sadness details of this latest appeal; The Winterbourne View Scandal Continues and once again the process of expecting the Prime Minister and the Government to resolve problems beyond their capability rolls into action.
The reality is that for years appropriate specialist resources needed both to finalise the exit flow from institutions and provide a continuum of opportunities with security for all levels of ability within the community have been lacking - clearly there has been a policy vacuum.
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. Yet the irrationality of continuing to close stable residential accommodation and day centres with the probability of compounding the 'Winterbourne View' problem carries on relentlessly.
The resources carers seek are just not available; neither does there appear to be a master plan that will provide them in the foreseeable future. The least the Government should do and carers should press for is a moratorium on any further closures or reductions in service support and a debate on future policy direction - the present process does not make sense until informed and objective debate has identified a rational and achievable way forward. This will not be feasible until the Government broadens out its panel of advisers - there is need to seek 'second opinions' from experts who have not been overwhelmed by unrealistic modernisation and normalisation doctrinaires and could make a valuable contribution towards a return to sanity.
For many years I have campaigned for the suspension of 'revolutionary' normalisation until the fundamental issues of policy were explored and debated. I have failed dismally.
I cannot profess to know all of the answers but am acutely aware of the background from which valuable lessons could have been learnt - but were missed.
In the interests of a level playing field and particularly on behalf of carers I have put my thoughts on paper as a contribution to any on-going debate if and should this arise.
Charles H
Jun 02 2014 21:15 PM Post #48
Location : Base

LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View?

This website has virtually been suspended for some time but it is now time to open up again.
People with learning disabilities and their carers continue to suffer grave injustices as many of the support services vital to their wellbeing and quality of life are relentlessly eroded.
The fact that sound Care in the Community policies are becoming decimated have been independently reinforced by Rosa Monckton’s brilliant BBC exposures, the Learning Disability Coalition’s ‘Tell it like it is’ report’ July 2008, Mencap’s own depressing ‘Stuck at home’ Report May 2012; the concerns expressed at the Royal College of Nursing convention May 2012; not least by the BBC’s Panorama programme Winterbourne View 31st May 2011; these all contribute to the harrowing outcome of turmoil and grief to hard pressed families.
Nothing will change until these issues are discussed openly and objectively in the public domain but, regrettably, for the past thirty years my personal appeals for simple answers to basic questions have been ignored or dismissed and carers desperate to have their voices heard and ask the same questions have been intimidated into silence.
In reality there is little benefit in appealing directly to the Government and expect a positive response but perhaps it may be more beneficial instead to focus on the dominant sources from whom the Government takes advice and guidance. With this in mind I have preoccupied myself with getting together an exposition that seeks answers to the many questions that arise from the state of current Care in the Community doctrinaires. It also seeks an explanation of how it was that the Prime Minister should be receiving an appeal for help paradoxically together with an admission of failure of current policies from 86 luminaries and organisations that clearly had had immense involvement in learning disabilities policy developments over the recent decades. (The National Response to Abuse of People with Learning Disabilities. June 20th 2011 Re: Winterbourne View)
And so I have at last got in print a controversial exposition on behalf of service users and carers aimed particularly at seeking answers to long-standing questions:

LEARNING DISABILITIES: Bold Visions: the short cut to inclusion - or the inevitable route to Winterbourne View? (ISBN 978-1-899499-68-7)
Price £8.99 plus p & p £2.50. Amazon and Minster Press,
FOR CARERS, only direct from charles.henley7@gmail.com - £8 for the book alone or if posted £10 (including p & p)
........................................................

This exposition is in effect a sequel to my earlier publication:
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.
Charles H
Nov 21 2013 21:04 PM Post #43

The accelerating spiral of decline in service support creates an increasing need for carers to have their voices heard but leaves them with a major problem. To whom do they turn for powerful support to bring their grievances into the public domain?
Care in the Community and the rundown of large and remote institutions owes much of its initial success to the intervention of the national press - how ironic it is that Care in the Community as exemplified by Winterbourne View is falling apart yet the national press cherry-picks the most sensational aspects of news items but fails to explore the root causes of the problem.
Basically, fundamentally flawed premises have been allowed to thrive unchallenged - a problem compounded by the delegation for the implementation of policies based on speculation to local authorities who have neither the insight nor competence to counter-balance their lack of experience.
I have put together some thoughts that I am proposing to submit for publication and will come back to this later. But getting the message across is not easy - neither is relying on the national press for sympathetic support. Do not expect an overnight revolution - just let me add as an example a previously failed attempt at publication that failed dismally and expensively in progress and financially.
Charles H
Nov 21 2013 20:58 PM Post #42

LEARNING DISABILITIES: A BOLD VISION - OR the ULTIMATE BETRAYAL?

Attempts to broaden debate and open up public knowledge and discussion would not be complete with reference to my frustrating, at times depressing, and certainly not inexpensive venture into self-publishing.
Having approached a number of established publishing companies without success or prospect of success in the foreseeable future I recalled a promotional article in the Books Section of a leading national paper that had caught my eye. This was not an advertisement but an attractive proposal that engendered considerable confidence in its fidelity from the reputation of the national newspaper concerned.
“If your dearest wish is to see your work – or the work of a family member or friend –in print, but you’re worried that a vanity publisher may rip you off to the tune of thousands of pounds and you don’t know how to self-publish, help is at hand.”
I willingly sought that help and found that for close on £500 I could benefit from a fast track service that would provide me with 5 copies of the book after which I could purchase books in small or large numbers on demand.
Ideal, I thought, £100 each for the first 5 books seemed a little expensive but the cost was justified by the comprehensive and elaborate backup service that was to be provided on an on-going basis.
I duly went ahead; the book was published in 2005 and the small initial run of 5 copies circulated to potentially influential reviewers. The content of the two most highly valued critiques was both highly encouraging and exciting. They both came from influential Mencap sources.
On the 9th September 2005 I received a positive critique of my book circulated as ‘Background Reading, New Series 44 August 2005’ from Brian McGinnis .
“Learning Disabilities: A Bold Vision or the Ultimate Betrayal: Charles Henley: UPSO: July 2005: I have had the unearned advantage of reading earlier commentaries from the author - who has a distinguished day centre history, which helps me avoid the very real risk of taking this as a simple "bring back our day centres" polemic. It is in fact a well argued statement of case for thinking hard about the sort of day centre "modernisation" that means scrapping them, while at the same time fully supporting greater access to employment, education, and community leisure resources.
The author argues, in terms of day centre history, that some centres pioneered what was later claimed by others as innovation; that centres as a whole were often poorly supported by senior management; that centres were blamed for failing, where it might have been more accurate to say that they were failed by policy makers and senior managers; and that those who disliked building-based approaches, and particularly disliked facilities specially for people with learning disabilities, have tended to blind themselves to what centres had offered, were offering and could offer.
I think the author's support for what might be described as a separate and specialist learning disability service is the weakest part of his case -partly because I think we have passed the point at which this might have been a runner, and partly because learning disability is often only one part of a person's "issues". Some of the other things the author says are equally forceful and a good deal harder to dispute. The ones I selected are:
• Paid employment for more people with learning disabilities is a wholly valid goal, but it is hard to see it being achieved for all the
very large number of people who have a day service place, or who
have nothing, at present.
• Some work enthusiasts seem to confuse paid employment with
therapy, and under-rate the inevitable toughness and inflexibility of
the working environment.
• Relying on community and commercial opportunities, and steering
clear of special buildings and special groups, could result both in
families having to shoulder even more responsibility and in people
losing contact with other people with learning disabilities without
gaining full inclusion in the sometimes non-existent and often not
very friendly general community.
• It would be great if every individual could enjoy support and other
resources for a life-long menu of wide-ranging personal choices.
It just doesn't seem that this is affordable and achievable. (Given
that human support is the major cost, it is hard to argue that special
support plus use of ordinary resources, on an individual basis, will
be cheaper/as cheap as collective special support in special places.)
• Small day centres/resource centres could narrow options rather
than extending them, unless they are firmly linked into a local
network of community resources that is both varied and accessible
- with individual support.
• Evidence from the present and past about what works and what
doesn't could give a firmer basis for new developments than
theories on their own - or indeed than projects with a very short
life-span or with very special reasons for their success.
This isn't a denial by the author of the importance of looking again at day services. It is a convincing insistence by the author that modernisation plans ought at least to look at how good things can be carried forward, at who is going to be covered for what, at sustainability, and at how to cover for risks without landing families with unwanted responsibilities. Arguably, we don't have a day services strategy as such because there is some optimism that we don't need one. If well-supported personal options could be guaranteed for everyone, then indeed we might not need "collective" solutions (though personal wish lists might include collective opportunities). Maybe we aren't there yet; and maybe we are not very likely to get there, In that case, Charles Henley is doing us all a favour by arguing against closing what we do have before there are any real guarantees of comprehensive and better alternatives.”
19th September 2005
Mencap Head of Campaigns and Policy also replied with specific comments detailed below.
“I have now had the chance to read your book 'Learning disabilities - a bold vision - or the ultimate betrayal!' i must say i found it a most interesting and stimulating book and I agreed with much of it but inevitably not all of it”.
“I think your description of the history and development of day centres is most useful and I fully accept there is a danger that in the rush to day centre modernisation of the throwing out the baby with the bath water. The comments in your foreword that 'there can be little doubt that day service provision is becoming diluted and day centres are closing' is undoubtedly correct. We very much share your concerns about this and it was for this reason that we produced a few years ago the report 'A life in the day7.”
“We were concerned that Social Services departments would use Valuing People simply as an opportunity to close down day centres without putting proper alternatives in place. For this reason we made it clear that no existing day centre should be closed down until robust _ alternatives are fully in place. In your book you describe this as being a meek proviso and either very naive or astounding. Whilst I fully understand where you are coming from in respect of this, I think you are being somewhat unfair.”
“To have opposed day service modernisation would have been frankly unrealistic and in any event, activities in the community are far better than activities in a closed and segregated environment.”
“We agree with you that buildings do have a role to play in the provision of meaningful day time activities for people with a learning disability, though there may be some debate over the size of them. You also state 'whilst building day services cannot provide an appropriate answer to meet all the needs of all people with a learning disability they should be seen as the starting point...' we would agree with this.”
“Finally, we are as concerned as you are with the erosion of services for people with a learning disability and the very real dangers of salami slicing of those services. Where we would disagree with you is in the revival of earlier proposals of a single service solution. The whole thrust of public policy has been rightly to ensure that people with all disabilities are properly included in mainstream activities rather than only being seen to be the responsibility of specialist services.”
“Thanking you once again for sending me a copy of your book, which I do believe, is a powerful contribution to the debate about services for people with a learning disability.”
I could not ask for a better launch pad from which to pursue a determined campaign - but for one major problem – the publisher recommended in glowing terms as a safe pair of hands by the Books Section of the major national paper did not live up to the honourable standards that this daily paper implied that he would provide.
The print on the first reviews was hardly dry before all of the elaborate promises started to fall apart; communication became evasive; the back-up system disappeared; I found myself in competition on the Internet with this publisher undercutting me whilst neglecting to fulfil his commitments. Any serious attempts to follow up to the Mencap reviews would have been futile. This self-publishing exercise had proved to be a campaigning disaster.
Apart from the financial outlay the real cost was to the future potential welfare of the most vulnerable section of our society and their carers. All available evidence indicated that Care in the Community support services were falling apart - an informed and objective debate was urgently needed. The sound reviews from two high level Mencap sources at last offered the right material to promote the arguments within the book and generate national discussion. But this unique opportunity to bring social injustices into the public domain for the benefit of the weakest but most deserving section of our community was lost.
I felt that I had not only been totally misled but my lengthy and detailed appeals to the editorial staff and then the Chief Executive of the national paper in an attempt to resolve increasing problems were frustratingly ignored. It was only when I wrote to the proprietor of the news group that I gained any hope of getting satisfaction as the Executive Managing Editor was instructed to make a response.
On the 28th February 2006 I first raised my concerns regarding the need for an investigation into the dubious business practices of this company so highly recommended by this newspaper Following further correspondence I eventually received a weak apology dated January 3rd 2007, with an admission by the Executive Managing Editor of his failure to effectively address the points I had raised. I saw no warnings in the Book Section that conveyed to potential self–publishing authors they should proceed with caution. When I received a letter dated 14th February 2008 from the Insolvency Service advising me that the publishers concerned were in Liquidation it came as no surprise; I could not help wondering just how many more potential authors had suffered the same financial and destructive experiences that I had within the two years that had elapsed.
A crucial opportunity to generate a meaningful national debate was lost thanks to the incompetence of the Books Section of a national paper and subsequent failure of its Executive Managing Editor to find a satisfactory solution to the problems that the Books Section had created. This newspaper did nothing to ameliorate the severe setback to my campaign – its Books Section even rejected a request I made for a review of the replacement book I was compelled to invest in containing the same content that has been so generously reviewed but was now out of print.
So much for the concern of elements of the media regarding major social issues - little wonder that the sales of the daily nationals are struggling and campaigners have to resort to long shots like E-petitions.
Further details recorded in the 'Research Notes' chapter in my new book put on record that Mr Robin Esser was the Executive Managing Editor and Lord Rothermere was the proprietor who actually responded positively to my requests for intervention.
CHARLES HENLEY
Nov 20 2013 10:53 AM Post #41

This site will be reopening later today - 20th November 2013
Homebase
Jun 02 2013 18:10 PM Post #32

This site is currently out of service. WILL BE REOPENED SHORTLY
Charles Henley
Jan 25 2013 4:04 AM Post #27
Location : Homebase

In a recent posting on this Bulletin headed ‘The Enemy Within’ I made a desperate appeal for all who have been affected by the consequences of Government policies regarding support for people with learning disabilities and their families to sign Government Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36834
As a consequence of this, and other appeals I have made in this respect, one of my contacts has drawn my concerns to the attention of her local MP, Amber Rudd, Hastings, who asked me for further details which I duly forwarded.
Ms Rudd has kindly responded and has now advised me that she is raising these issues directly with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP.
The numbers signing the petition are growing (thanks to all who have so far responded), but it is now more imperative that the extent of the problems should become undeniably obvious.
Once again I appeal to all who care – not just to sign the petition themselves but to lean on their friends, relatives, and all personal contacts – make the internet a powerful instrument of salvation for the most vulnerable and deserving.
Do not forget that whilst my personal focus has been on day care the debate I am seeking covers all forms of carer support whether day care, residential care, respite care, DLAs, and Direct payments of any shape or form.
Charles Henley
Jan 09 2013 18:55 PM Post #25

On the 30th December, 2012 Unpaid Family Carers (Facebook site) posted a link to an interesting element of demonstration RADAR protesting at the ‘Trojan Horse’ role of disabled charities in the Remploy Closures.
The context of this protest is summed up in the following:
RADAR (“Disability Rights UK”) is Remploy Trojan Horse
Posted on May 30, 2012 by JJ

REPORT: MAY 29TH DEMONSTRATION AT RADAR IN PROTEST AT “TROJAN HORSE” ROLE OF DISABLED CHARITIES IN CLOSURE OF 54 REMPLOY fACTORIES
Report of protest against the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – being used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for over 2,800 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK says GMB
Remploy disabled workers who face redundancy are in London from Monday 28th May for a Week of Action to coincide with the TUC Disability conference which starts in London Wednesday (30th May). See below for details of what is planned.
There was a demonstration this morning 29th May 2012 outside the offices of RADAR – now renamed Disability Rights UK- to protest that this organization and five others with the Sayce Report opened the way for the Ministerial statement on 7th March the House of Commons.
The Sayce report was used as the “Trojan horse” for closing 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy sites with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people of whom 1,518 of these are disabled. The statement envisages the complete closure of all 54 factories in due course leading to 2,800 disabled workers jobs being lost.
The demonstration, with a large black horse to signify the trojan horse, took place outside the offices of Disability Rights UK12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London, EC1V 8AF. They set up tents in the green space opposite this office. Pictures are available from charlotte.gregory@gmb.org.uk .
Phil Davies GMB National Secretary said “Remploy Disabled workers facing redundancy protested that the Sayce Report, supported by RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire, is being used as a “ Trojan horse” to close the Remploy factories.
These six organizations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required.
This is what happens when you make “the best” the enemy of the “good”.
You start with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – being used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for more than 2,800 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK.
Radar characterise Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. In no way can modern day Remploy be characterised in this way”
Kevin Hepworth Unite National Secretary said “It is absolutely appalling that a disabled charity like RADAR can condone the sacking of disabled workers”
…………………………………..
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