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Brandon Trust responds to Norman Lamb's Green Paper "No voice unheard, no right ignored"

Leading learning disability charity Brandon Trust responds to the launch of the Government’s "No voice unheard, no right ignored" programme designed to strengthen the rights of people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions.

This Green Paper has been made in the wake of the need for Government action to move people out of in-patient settings after the Winterbourne View scandal in 2011. "No voice unheard, no right ignored" asks for people's views on a range of proposed measures. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and aims to help people to live independently with greater input, more rights and more control over their own lives. Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, and Gavin Harding MBE, Co-Chair of the Transforming Care Assurance Board, launched the ‘No voice unheard, no right ignored’ consultation on Friday, 6 March.

Jon MinallJon Minall, Brandon Trust Director of Operations, said: “We welcome this green paper which is vital to ensuring that everyone with a learning disability is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and given the ability to have a real say over the way they are supported.

“However if we really want to successfully get people out of institutions and into the community within two years, which has been promised by Simon Stevens, then we must have upfront funding now to develop the local infrastructure where it is needed, because there are areas across the country where this is woefully inadequate. The green paper is requesting views on how to ensure there is enough community support, but we are deeply concerned that the necessary changes will not happen fast enough.

“The reason we’re in this situation is because, historically, NHS England has moved people with learning disabilities from their home cities into units hundreds of miles away and this has degraded the infrastructure in the very areas where support is going to be needed in the near future. Closing these units will see many hundreds of people returning to live near their families, so funding must be put in place urgently to avoid huge delays, or worse, many people with learning disabilities reaching crisis point in a community setting that is not set up to support them effectively.

“Norman Lamb’s recognition that this system will not change itself is welcome, although sadly too late for this parliament to deal with. We must all maintain the pressure on all the political parties to ensure that they commit themselves to this consultation and the regulatory enforcement proposed, so that the future government acts upon this gross and devastating deprivation of liberty.”

For the full report, visit: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/strengthening-rights-for-people-with-learning-disabilities

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