Katie's Diary

Inactivity is one of the biggest barriers to progress by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

4th June 2014

Inactivity, when it has been recognised that change is critical, can have long lasting and sometimes dangerous implications that impact on so many people.

The fallout of the Winterbourne View scandal rumbles on and inactivity is holding many former residents hostage. Yet it isn’t just former Winterbourne View residents, but vulnerable adults generally, who always seem to draw the short straw in public priorities.

Within ubu we have proved that we put those we serve at the heart of our support and in control of their own lives, as a consequence many people who had been written off by society have now assumed full and active roles as members of their local communities.

There should be a priority to get people still living in institutions living in the heart of their community where their lives can be lived rightly as citizens not prisoners of politics, where they can enjoy both their friends and family as the rest of us do.

However, since Winterbourne politicians and public servants haven't made this difference happen, and the big question has to be why?

We have proved that it can happen and at a cost that significantly saves the tax payer, whilst at the same time improving people's lives. Norman Lamb calls the transfer plan an ‘abject failure’ and says there needs to be a culture change. We have to ask the obvious, why haven't they changed the culture as we did to make it happen?

Isn't it the politicians and public servants’ jobs to drive that culture change forward? 

Instead it appears the blame game is now being batted back and forth between politicians, who say the civil servants need to change and the civil servants, who say the politicians are starving them of the resources.

We need to remind them that real people are at the heart of this issue. We have proved there is a sound way forward, so why are they not giving this more support to make change happen?

We have demonstrated tangible improvements in the lives of so many who are at risk in society, so why are the public politicians and servant not making it happen for more people? They have the power to change the culture that is stifling progress.  Isn't that what they are paid to do?

We ask the question openly, why don't they all take the bull by the horns and drive through the changes that will release so many vulnerable people from a lifetime of captivity, living in such institutions that do not improve nor give them any quality of life?

Many care providers have invested their resources in developing the solutions. Whilst government, politicians and civil servants took no financial risk - private companies did.  We have developed good solutions. Now it is up to them to take their share of ownership to kick start the implementation to help vulnerable adults.

The cynic in me says that the political will is lacking, because it could prove unpopular to put vulnerable adults at the heart of their own communities. 

The optimist in me urges all politicians and public servants to tackle this one head on to benefit everyone.

Inactivity is one of the biggest barriers to progress by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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