- Welcome recognition of role Shared Lives can play
The Bubb report, WINTERBOURNE VIEW – TIME FOR CHANGE Transforming the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, started as a conversation from which many people with learning disabilities and self-advocacy organisations were concerned they would be excluded. The last thing which was needed three years on from the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, was another discussion amongst professionals about how they should improve.
It became clear early on in the process, however, that Sir Stephen and his committee were genuinely keen to engage with the views of people with learning disabilities and to take those views seriously. People with learning disabilities have helped the committee to come up with some of the clearest and most radical proposals since Winterbourne.
They are clear that they expect to be involved in decisions and to be employed in peer support, advocacy, inspection and planning roles. They are calling for closures, not just improvement of a broken and outdated model of care. We support this view and the Shared Lives community can demonstrate that people with learning disabilities who are considered ‘challenging’ by some services, can often live safely and well in ordinary family homes, at a fraction of the cost of low-outcome institutional care.
Shared Lives will not be for everyone, but it is one of several tried and trusted community-based support models which everyone should be offered.