Actions to improve care following the Winterbourne review

The Department of Health recently published an interim report of the review into the events at Winterbourne View hospital. The Minister for Care Services, Paul Burstow, set up the review to establish the facts and bring forward actions to improve care and outcomes of people with learning disabilities or autism.

This letter from David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive and David Behan, Director General Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships highlights action to be taken forward by NHS bodies and local authorities as set out in that report.

The key objectives are to:

  • improve commissioning across health and care services for people with behaviour which challenges with the aim of reducing the number of people using inpatient assessment and treatment services
  • clarify roles and responsibilities across the system and support better integration between health and care
  • improve the quality of services to give people with learning disabilities and their families choice and control
  • promote innovation and positive behavioural support and reduce the use of restraint
  • establish the right information to enable local commissioners to benchmark progress in commissioning services which meet individuals’ needs, improve the quality of care, and reduce the numbers of people in in-patient services for assessment and treatment

PCTs and local authorities need to work together to assure themselves that they are continuing to take all action needed to improve outcomes for people with learning disabilities in preparation for the outcomes of the final report into the events at Winterbourne View, which will be published in the autumn.