Out of sight – who cares?

23rd October 2020

FitzRoy’s response to Out of sight – who cares CQC’s recent review of restraint, seclusion and segregation for autistic people, and people with a learning disability and/or mental health condition.

“It is almost 60 years since our founder Elizabeth FitzRoy fought to keep her son Michael out of institutions and in a real home, 12 years since the Winterbourne View scandal, and 5 years since the Transforming Care programme was launched. And sadly, nothing has changed.

“We are reading yet again how people with learning disabilities and autism are being let down by another failed system and more lost opportunities. The inhumanity of enforced hospitalisation of people who seem to be the forgotten members of our society is devastating. Everyone deserves a fulfilled life with love, choice and independence to be happy, healthy and at home. We still hold these values and beliefs right at the heart of our services.

“We must not wait for the next review, the next failure, the next family to cry out for help for their loved ones.

“FitzRoy is calling for the government to act now. Institutionalised care must be closed and replaced with loving homes where people can thrive and flourish. Not in five years or ten years but right now.

“There is a vast voluntary sector provider market across the country, ready, willing, able and affordable. It’s time to take action and ensure people with learning disabilities have access to therapeutic independent living, local to their families and close to their community.

“We, the voluntary sector, working closely with the NHS and local authorities need to:

  • Break down the barriers that separate us, pool our expertise, our resources, and develop solutions that focus on the individual needs of each person
  • Recognise the skills and expertise needed from our key workers to deliver the right support and make sure that training and pay are commensurate with the needs of the role and the requirements of the person supported
  • Develop collaborations where all partners are striving for the same goal and treated as equal partners

“We aren’t always going to get it right, but we can’t let fear of failure stop us from acting and doing everything we can to end the hospital lockdown for people with learning disabilities and autism. They aren’t out of sight, and we care.”

Angela Murphy

FitzRoy Director of Operations