Following the shocking and criminal behaviour towards people with autism at Winterbourne View, the Government has released its official review which includes a good practice guide.
The guide highlights the work of not-for-profit social care provider, Dimensions, which supports almost 3,000 people with learning disabilities and autism to live the life they choose.
The Department of Health visited Joshua Close, a service in North London where officials met people supported by Dimensions. They spoke about how the lives of people supported there have been transformed since moving from a long-stay hospital and more institutional settings into the supported living service.
The service designs and delivers support with the people who live at Joshua Close, tailoring it to their needs and potential. This has resulted in people gaining greater independence - being active participants in their community, living in their own flats and gaining employment.
The good practice guide outlines Dimensions’ expertise in personalisation – enabling people to have choice and control over their support. The guide also sets out the work of Dimensions’ own compliance audit team which regularly audits its services to meet expectations of regulators, people it supports and their families.
Steve Scown, Chief Executive of Dimensions, who has authored award winning books on personalisation, said: “The events of Winterbourne View were appalling and unacceptable. We recently interviewed whistleblower Terry Bryan about the events which took place to share with our 5,000 staff and have worked hard to ensure our values, such as respect, integrity and ambition for the people we support, are imbedded in everything we do.
“We are pleased the Department of Health has produced a good practice guide which will enable providers, policymakers and the public to know more about what is working in social care. At the same time, there are certain realities that must be addressed – especially given the challenges of the ongoing economic climate.
“In particular, funding the right support and creating a culture where local authorities pursue proactive and positive approaches to social care that will improve quality of life and not focus on the cheapest outcome that benefits the purse not the person.”
Dimensions has an internal compliance team to ensure high quality standards and a robust monitoring process. The team includes ‘Experts by Experience’ made up of people with learning disabilities.
Within the report, one Dimensions case study explains how this had a positive effect at a service where an audit observation process identified some areas where engagement between the staff and the people being supported could be improved.
Dimensions is grateful for the opportunity to share good practice in order to ensure high quality standards and support for people with learning disabilities and autism and to avoid future Winterbourne View scandals.
To read the full report and the Dimensions case studies on personalisation, Individual Service Funds and Compliance Audit, visit https://www.wp.dh.gov.uk/publications/files/2012/12/final-report.pdf