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Dispatches highlights why Transforming Care needs to go further

Transforming Care needs to improve, work with and support effective Care and Treatment Reviews if people are to move out of institutions and into the community.

Tonight [1 March 2017] at 10pm Dispatches: Under Lock and Key airs on Channel 4. The investigation looks at failing institutional care and the government’s Transforming Care agenda.

Steve Scown, CEO of Dimensions, said: “Dispatches offers yet more proof that life in a locked hospital ward – whether at St Andrews or elsewhere – can never be in an individual’s long-term interests.

“One might expect to find face down restraint, sedation and poor healthcare in a prison; and certainly, being locked away many miles from family and friends, who aren’t even allowed to visit.

“But to find these things in what should be a caring environment for people with learning disabilities and autism… and in 2017? These environments don’t work – we learnt that in the 1970s and 80s.”

There is an established mechanism to get people out of places like this. It is the Care and Treatment Review (CTR) and when it’s done well, it works.

Everyone entering an assessment and treatment unit should have a CTR on entry and every six months thereafter.

Every CTR should involve family and a provider who will work with the family to design and provide a more appropriate community-based support package. Working in this way from day one ensures the person’s stay is as short as possible.

Dimensions advocates:

  • Enforce existing rules on the timing and content of CTRs, with a financial penalty on the hospital if they aren’t held within a month.
  • Involve the person’s family and community providers in the very first CTR, and each review thereafter. Informed decisions lead to better outcomes.
  • Accept that past failed placements are a failed plan, not a failed person. Demand optimism from participants in the CTR – both professionals and families. Plan for success, not for another failure.
  • Ensure there is never, ever a financial incentive for the hospital or ATU to keep a person locked up.

Scown added: “Dispatches is an important programme. But it only shows one-half of the story. I hope that future programmes will track people after they leave institutions like St Andrews – and shine a light on how best practice can really make Transforming Care work.”

Contact our press office

For more information, interviews, and case studies contact Duncan Bell, PR Manager at Dimensions, on (e) Duncan.bell@dimensions-uk.org (t) 0300 303 9062 or (m) 07506 663 793.

Dimensions is a specialist provider of a wide range of services for people with learning disabilities and people who experience autism. We are a not-for-profit organisation, supporting around 3,500 people and their families throughout England and Wales.

We have been providing support packages for families for 40 years. We offer a range of support services to adults of all ages, including those with complex needs or challenging behaviour. We enable people to be part of their community and make their own choices and decisions about their lives.

We are proud to be a not-for-profit organisation, not here for commercial gain. This means we’re able to invest all our efforts and resources into helping us achieve person-centred processes with positive outcomes for everyone we work with.