After Panorama shared the horrors of Whorlton Hall, people were horrified, rightfully so. However, as we have talked about before, this is not an isolated incident – this is just one they caught on camera.
The families involved in #HumanToo and other campaigns have come together and have a plan, but they need your help. Before you scroll on and think “this isn’t relevant to me”, please remember all of these families thought the same before it happened to them.
They are asking for one thing.
People with learning disability and autism must have homes not hospitals.
The abuse we saw in Panorama Winterbourne View and Panorama Whorlton Hall, will continue unless the right support is built in the community. Root and branch reform is required.
What can you do?
They are asking us to come together to inform and persuade our local MP to pledge their support and to commit to taking action so that people can have their human rights respected and live in homes not hospitals.
The families would like you to write to your local MP to invite them a Homes not Hospitals drop in 26th June. This drop in is being hosted by Helen Hayes, MP in Westminster. The drop in will allow them to find out and understand what is happening. They can also discuss ways they can take action and pledge their support.
You can email your MP directly if you know their email or you can use Write to Them (https://www.writetothem.com/) to find your MP and email them through the site.
The families have also come up with a template you can use for your email which explains exactly what your MP can expect on the day. You may want to change the wording slightly if you not a parent with first hand experience.
You should be able to copy/paste the text below but if not, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you it in a word document.
INVITATION: HOMES NOT HOSPITAL MP DROP-IN: 26THJUNE
As my local MP, I’d like to invite you to attend the Homes Not Hospitals MP drop-in to hear how you can help to stop one of the biggest domestic human rights scandals of our time.
What: HOMES NOT HOSPITALS DROP-IN (hosted by Helen Hayes, MP)
When:Wednesday 26thJune 11.30-2 pm. (Short speeches at 1)
Where: Room A, 1 Parliament Street, London SW1P 3JX
SYSTEMIC FAILURE OF INPATIENT CARE
The recent revelations in BBC’s Panorama on Whorlton Hall are just the tip of the iceberg in regard to the systemic abuse of children, young people, and adults with learning disabilities and autistic children and adults living in in-patient care. As a person with first-hand experience, I can assure you these are far from isolated incidents.
NHS England’s Transforming Care Programme was meant to close these inpatient institutions in favour of homes in the community. It has failed and this failure is devastating, as 2,245 people with learning disability and autistic people remain in inpatient units.More alarming still, the number of children under 18s in these units has doubled since 2015.
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES WILL CONTINUE UNLESS THERE IS STRONG LEADERSHIP TO DRIVE CHANGE
The inpatient model of care routinelyinvolves seclusion, prone restraint and overmedication and represents a denial of basic human rights. Aside from the cases of abuse, there have been a scandalous number of deaths in these units. There must be root and branch reform to change the model of care – and MPs have a key role in making this happen.
YOUR HELP WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
People with learning disability and autistic people need homes, not hospitals. This isn’t complicated to achieve, and it is cheaper to the tax payer too! With your support, people can lead safe and happy lives in the community, their human rights respected. They need the right support, in the right place, at the right time.
As your constituent, I hope you will be able to attend the HOMES NOT HOSPITALSdrop-in meeting to speak to constituents with lived experience and key professionals in the field about the extent of this systemic problem, what can be done about it and how you can help drive the change that is needed.
PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR CONSTITUENTS WHO MAY BE MARGINALISED, EXCLUDED AND UNABLE TO GET THEIR VOICE HEARD. I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE.
We really hope you will take five minutes out of your chaotic lives to show your support for these families. The more MPs we can get to the event, the more likely it is that change will happen.
Please note Bringing Us Together totally supports this event and the families, but it is not our project or initiative. We were asked by the families if we could share the details of the MP Lobby so they had a link they could share with people on social media.
Mum to three great kids, each with a different SEN.
Transplanted from the NW to the SE.
Co-founder and Director of Bringing Us Together