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Time for Change: The Challenges Ahead

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The recent publication of Sir Stephen Bubb’s follow-up report, Time for Change: The Challenges Ahead, on the developments made since Winterbourne View makes for interesting reading. It builds on the earlier ACEVO report that recommended the closure of ‘inappropriate institutions’ and a shift in emphasis towards community-based care.

This latest report examines what changes have taken place in the sector and what changes continue to be required. The report makes seven recommendations, the main one of which is a call for the appointment of a Learning Disabilities Commissioner. This role would place a ‘statutory duty on the holder to promote, enhance, and protect the rights of people with learning disabilities’. In addition the report calls for the training of more than 10,000 extra staff in order to be able to ‘support people in their own community’.

Of particular interest is a recommendation for the introduction of ‘accreditation of training in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)’. The report criticises the lack of a ‘PBS standard’ and expresses concern that, at present, ‘any form of intervention or training can be “badged” as PBS in order to gain the kudos of association with its principle’. It adds that it is vital that PBS training is ‘formalised’ and calls for the creation of a new, independent organisation to ‘take on a national accreditation role’.

We’ll be following this story closely in the weeks and months ahead and will be interested to see how the formalisation and accreditation of training develops.