Last night’s powerful Channel 4 Dispatches ‘Under Lock and Key’ highlighted the thousands of people with learning disabilities and autism that are still locked up in hospitals for disproportionately long periods of time.
Despite promises made by the government in its Transforming Care Policy – the system has failed the very patients it was set up to help, along with their families and specialist care home providers.
Home from Home Care, a small family run service, had been denied registration by the Care Quality Commission to provide exactly the right kind of bespoke personalised service that is needed to help individuals back into the community, but that also prevents admissions to these institutions. It was only through legal challenge that the last home, designed for the most complex individuals, was finally registered – although development of a further specialist home still remains blocked.
The Care Quality Commission remains the most significant part of the system that is responsible for the lack of alternative suitable community based provision. It has crashed the funding for the learning disability and autism care service provision with its “Registering the Right Support” guidance specifically for learning disability and autism community services. It still though, as we saw so vividly in the programme last night, continues to register large institutional settings.
Paul de Savary, Managing Director of Home From Home Care, said “Hospitals are not homes and unless the Care Quality Commission plays its part in a system that has yet to deliver, the Transforming Care Programme is doomed for further failure.
“We are driven by wanting to make the difference and setting high standards in everything we provide – from the design and layout of a home, to the quality of the care and support that is essential to delivering fulfilled lives for all the individuals we support.
“CQC is effectively blocking new services which are waiting to be built. This means we are now turning away individuals who are at risk of needlessly entering hospital settings.”