THE Learning Disability Census released last week has been branded a failure due to a lack of ‘joined up funding’. We beg to differ … it is the result of a lack of ‘joined up thinking’
The statistics are horrific. There has been no decrease in the number of people in Assessment and Treatment Units (ATU) despite governmemt promises to reduce their use and at the same time the average stay has increased from 542 days to 547.
Family and friends have to travel further to visit loved oneas as they are assessed and treated further from home and the number remaining in them increased while the number working towards release fell.
It is a catalogue of failure as over strecthed resources battle with an increasing demand. Yet the real failure is of the managers to think about what their real role is and the most effective way to deliver it, to achieve the best results.
The aim of every manager should be almost empty wards and people living independently at the heart of their local communities. It has been accepted best practice for more than 30 years. So why are we not doing it?
Last year we helped more than 100 new people change from high dependancy care to low intervention support, some of which came to ubu as very complex cases that everyone else had washed their hands of.
The ubu philosophy of placing the people we serve at the heart of the community is unique in that it enables them to contribute and integrate rather than the current process of isolating them from friends, family and ultimately society.
Commisioners must adopt this approach to improve health and social care, ultimately improving people’s lives! Surely by helping the person to engage with local communities and enabling them to achieve their own aspirations, is a better and more cost effective way than leaving them without any significant support or hope in hospitals?
Commisioners and policy makers fail to realise that investment spent up front delivers paybacks for everyone in the long run. Rather than looking for a quick fix solution, they should start playing the long game and adopt their serious investors mentality. You wouldn’t play the stock market expecting an immediate return … if you did you would be very disappointed.
So it is, with care of vulnerable adults. They need to be less risk averse and more adventurous in their approach, giving up their traditional role as care givers to become community connectors.
Everyone needs to focus on the future and see what we can do to improve things rather than dwell on past failings.
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