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VODG Blog:

21 Jul 2014
Debbie Sorkin, national director of systems leadership, Leadership Centre

An ambitious plan to improve safeguarding in Nottingham would still be suffering teething problems were it not for a radical shake up of the leadership process involved.

0 comments
1 Jul 2014
Sheree Green, senior associate solicitor, Anthony Collins

Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol closed three years ago this month, after the BBC exposed the abuse of patients  with learning disabilities.

3 comments
11 Jun 2014
Kate Sayer, partner, Sayer Vincent chartered accountants

Adult social care in the UK has suffered from around £2.68 billion of cuts over the last three years, which is affecting the care packages of elderly and disabled people in this country.

0 comments
4 Jun 2014
Steve Scown, chief executive, Dimensions, trustee VODG

Without the Making it Real approach, there is a strong chance that 23-year-old Chris would be back in the secure, institutional care that he was in two years ago.

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27 May 2014
John Tizard, independent strategic advisor and public policy commentator

Social capital matters. It holds communities together. It ensures resilience. It enables communities to support themselves and those members of the community who for whatever reason and, for however long, become in need of support. It is like a wire that runs through communities, providing the human electric current to sustain and, when necessary, resuscitate life.

1 comment
19 May 2014
Pauline Heslop, former manager, Confidential Inquiry into deaths of people with learning disabilities premature

People with learning disabilities die, on average, 16 years sooner than people in the general population; many of the deaths of people with learning disabilities are avoidable. These are among the findings of the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities (at the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol) which reported its findings in March 2013.

0 comments
12 May 2014
Gary Shipsey, managing director, Protecture

Lord Laming, in his 2003 inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie noted that “many said there was confusion among professionals as to when they were allowed to share information with each other without...consent...I was told that the free exchange of information about children and families about whom there are concerns is inhibited by...data protection..."

0 comments
6 May 2014
Anne Bagshaw, Skills for Care

In the prolonged era of efficiency, it is crucial that social care employers know their workforce inside out. Who works for you? What skills do employees offer that enable you to improve caring for the people you support?

0 comments
23 Apr 2014
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

The squeeze on funding is among the biggest challenges facing people with learning disabilities and their care providers.

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7 Apr 2014
John McDonald, executive director, Real Life Options

What role does assistive technology – any technology that supports people - play in person-centred care? For Leonie, a 30-year-old mother-of-one who we provide with 12 hours of weekly support, it means safety, choice and control for her and her young son.

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31 Mar 2014
Ruth Marvel, director of foresight and innovation, Scope

It is 7am on a Monday morning in 2020 and Linda, aged 85, has just woken up. She is quite frail and her short term memory is not as reliable as it was. It’s reassuring then, that her biometric wristband wishes her a “Good Morning”, confirms she is in good health and reminds her take her diabetes medication.

3 comments
14 Mar 2014
Paul Snell, chief executive, Walsingham

The pending Care Bill has been the subject of considerable debate in the social care sector as of late – and for good reason. Such a mammoth undertaking doesn’t come without its share of issues.

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6 Mar 2014
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

People with learning disabilities not only have worse health than the general population; they die younger than their non-learning disabled peers.

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26 Feb 2014
Clare Emmins and Samantha Wilkinson

Choice and control is the aim of all progressive social care organisations, but in practice, there are barriers to achieving this.

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11 Feb 2014
John Tizard

Parliament has passed the lobbying bill or, as many in the voluntary and community and trade union sector refer to it, ‘the gagging bill’, having mounted a long campaign to have it either significantly amended, withdrawn or defeated.

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4 Feb 2014
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

Celia had, over the years, become confined to her bed and wheelchair. Her severe learning disabilities, progressive neurological disorder myoclonic ataxia, epilepsy and dyspraxia affected her behaviour, and she began self-harming and being aggressive.

0 comments
19 Dec 2013
John Adams, VODG general secretary

2013 began much as it ended; with a focus on improving quality and safeguarding in social care in the wake of Winterbourne View. In January, most of us were still reading the government’s final report into the care scandal, and in December came the welcome news that former VODG chairman Bill Mumford is the new head of the joint improvement programme.

3 comments
9 Dec 2013
Bill Mumford

Many people still don’t know that the role of NICE has been extended to include social care. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 broadened the organisation’s statutory remit to develop and provide guidance and quality standards for care and accordingly its new title is: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

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27 Nov 2013
John Adams, VODG general secretary

Joe*, who has Autism and a severe learning disability, was restrained up to 15 times a day by a team of four staff. He had a poor diet, often eating 15 packets of crisps a day, and was a risk to both himself and his family. His support package cost £248,000 a year, including 3:1 support in the community and 2:1 at home.

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26 Nov 2013
Helen Baker, chair of the board at Dimensions

Are political parties trustworthy? Why do we send our army to other countries? Should the police have more training in supporting people with a learning disability or autism?

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20 Nov 2013
Tim Cooper, chief executive, Advance

Xenia Kyriacou was recently asked to leave a restaurant after showing challenging behaviour and overturning a table in frustration. The 'outburst' was a reflection of Xenia’s complex needs and the fact she was overwhelmed.

0 comments
28 Oct 2013
Ges Roulstone, chief executive, Linkage Community Trust

Gemma's* story, which we describe in a new Linkage Community Trust report published today, illustrates the human cost of “ordinary residence” disputes – the all-too-common social care funding disagreements between local authorities (see below, What is ‘ordinary residence’).

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