The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has been instrumental in driving change to services provided to those with learning difficulties, in response to the Winterbourne View abuse scandal.
The 3 lives report published on 18th June 2014 is an initiative outside of the current programme of work through NHS England and the Local Government Association.
It is a refreshing approach to change in that whilst it includes many of the stakeholders from across the health care system; it also brings together knowledge and expertise from outside of the NHS. The idea is for those consulting to provide commitments to take the right actions within their sphere of influence, following a presentation on 3 lives where failures to deliver adequate and lawful services resulted in personal tragedy.
“It was a real privilege to be asked to contribute to the forum which has resulted in the 3 lives report. As a lawyer I initially found it hard to appreciate how slowly change happens when human rights are being breached and service provision is inadequate and at times unlawful. Whilst we encounter this daily with the work we do in representing client’s challenging placements and assessments of care services, the scale of the systematic failures are colossal.
Without doubt there is more we can do from a legal perspective by way of policy and training to change perspectives of appropriate, dare I say good care provision. It is clear that those in most need of legal representation are often left without it. Unaware that it is often free. Most people know that if they are arrested they can call a duty lawyer for free to advice them. The rights of those in care services and their families to access legal advice are far less obvious.
There is no doubt that those attending the 3 lives meeting were committed to bringing about a change to care services and were touched by the personal stories told. The missed opportunities for intervention were startling. I am optimistic however that the drive for change will provide results for all those in need. The basic human rights to a home and prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment should be observed through delivery of consistent standards of high quality care rather than through the breaches we have witnessed in the 3 lives report and Winterbourne View cases.”
If education as to the right to good service delivery is a starting point for change, then the Challenging Behaviour Foundation is again making massive strides. The new film “Everybody Matters” tells an incredibly positive story as to what the right treatment and assessment can deliver. It is a must watch for all those touched by the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, those delivering services to clients and patients with learning difficulties and anyone observing the wider human rights issues.
TV Edwards Solicitors working with the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and Mencap have produced a guide for service users and their families detailing their rights, please click here to see guide.