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Winterbourne View interim report – questions and answers

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is this report about?

This report sets out actions which will be taken at a national level to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities or autism and behaviour described as challenging. This responds to evidence that the health and care system is not meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities or autism and behaviour described as challenging.

Does this report cover what happened at Winterbourne View?

No. The report does not cover what happened at Winterbourne View itself because we do not want to prejudice the outcomes of current criminal proceedings against some former Winterbourne View staff.

In the autumn we will publish a full report which looks at what happened at Winterbourne View, once the criminal proceedings are completed and all the evidence is published in the Serious Case Review being conducted by South Gloucestershire Council.

How will this deliver change?

The interim report sets out clear actions which will be taken forward at a national level to help deliver the local change needed to ensure that people with learning disabilities or autism and behaviours that challenge can have the support they need to lead their lives like any other person, with the same opportunities and responsibilities, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

All parts of the health and care system have a role to play in making this happen. No individual body or organisation has the power to bring about the necessary changes. Every part of the system must work to drive up standards.

What will happen as a result of the findings from this report?

Our objectives are:

  • To improve the capacity and capability of commissioning across health and care for people with behaviour which challenges with the aim of reducing the number of people using inpatient assessment and treatment services. To do this we will work with the NHS Commissioning Board Authority and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS) to develop a model service specification by March 2013.
  • To clarify roles and responsibilities across the health and care system whilst ensuring better integration of care and services.
  • To improve the quality of services so that they allow people with learning disabilities and their families to have choice and control.
  • To promote ongoing improvement and positive behavioural support and reduce the use of restraint.

The actions set out in the report will help achieve these objectives and drive good practice in care.

Isn’t this a national picture of failing, inadequate services?

There are excellent examples of good care being provided close to home and tailored to people’s individual needs and these can be viewed alongside the report. We are determined to drive up standards across the health and care system for people with learning disabilities. The department will provide leadership in driving change by supporting local authorities and the health and care system in providing good quality care.

What should you look out for when choosing a care home and what should I do if I’m worried about a relative’s care?

For information about the care provided at a particular home, or to complain about the care someone you know has received, visit the Care Quality Commission website.

Find out more about the interim report.

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