The petition of supporters of The National Autistic Society,
Declares that the petitioners believe that the Secretary of State for Health should take urgent action to prevent abuse in residential care settings and work with commissioners, providers, individuals receiving support and their families to ensure that vulnerable adults are treated in a dignified, safe, enabling and respectful way.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department of Health to urgently review the work of the Care Quality Commission and the appropriateness of the inspection regime for protecting vulnerable adults in out-of-area residential accommodation.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by John Pugh, Official Report, 19 July 2011; Vol. 531, c. 907 .]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:
The issue referred to relates to the abuse uncovered by a BBC Panorama programme at Winterbourne View, an independent hospital for people with learning disabilities.
When the abuse at Winterbourne View became known, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), commissioners and other agencies took prompt action to safeguard the patients there. Winterbourne View has now been closed permanently and Castlebeck Care is no longer registered to provide services at this location.
The Government are committed to learning the lessons from this tragic case and a number of actions are underway to ensure that this happens.
CQC is undertaking a number of reviews of services for people with learning disabilities starting with the review of all of Castlebeck’s facilities in England. Reports on each of these reviews were published on Thursday 28 July and where CQC has found that services are not meeting the essential safety and quality requirements, CQC is taking appropriate action.
CQC is also undertaking a focused inspection programme to review care for people with learning disabilities in independent hospitals. The review will be in two phases:
phase 1 will consist of the inspection of 150 services that provide care for people with learning disabilities;
phase 2 will use the learning from phase one to look at a sample of other registered services covering alternative models of provision for people with learning disabilities.
In undertaking these reviews, where inspections identify care and treatment that does not comply with the safety and quality requirements for example the requirement on safeguarding service users from abuse, CQC has powers to take enforcement action. This includes the power to issue the provider with a warning notice that requires improvement within a specified time, prosecution and the power to cancel a provider’s registration, removing its ability to provide regulated activities.
In addition to the reviews CQC is undertaking into services for people with learning disabilities, CQC is undertaking an internal review of its actions. This, along with reviews by other bodies involved as well as the independently chaired Serious Case Review will feed into an overall review by the Department of Health which will be draw together the key lessons. This work is being led by Bruce Calderwood, Mental Health and Learning Disability Director for the Department. A panel of experts including Professor Jim Mansell, Mark Goldring and Anne Williams will advise the review. Its activities will be informed by the views of service user and carer representatives including the National Forum for People with Learning Difficulties, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the National Valuing Families Forum. Ministers will then report further to Parliament.
The forthcoming Care and Support White Paper will look at the quality framework for social care as a whole, to make sure we have got the right arrangements in place to ensure high standards for all people who receive care.
The White Paper will be informed by an engagement process over the autumn on priorities for social care reform and we will set out more detail about our plans imminently.