Katie's Diary

uStep only viable option for vulnerable adults and society

6th October 2014

A sustainable, cost effective solution for the care of the most vulnerable adults in society has been developed and implemented in Yorkshire and could help solve a major healthcare headache for the Government.


Pioneered 30 years ago in Yorkshire by ubu, uStep currently cares for more than 500 vulnerable people by supporting them as they strive for independent living at the heart of their local communities.  Using innovative techniques that the company trials extensively, they are enabling hundreds of vulnerable and at risk adults to live on their own and pursue life long ambitions.


Already this year the people ubu serve have travelled overseas, started jobs, embarked on educational courses and organized weddings.   Results have been remarkable with even the most complex cases achieving independence with limited interventions.


ubu believe that it could be the solution the government is seeking, as they desperately take government measures to close costly high dependency hospitals and put the 3000 vulnerable adults currently inside them into community care.


Yet Chief Executive, Dorothy Jarvis Lee, who helped develop uStep  said that it was frustrating that it was still largely ignored while an ever growing number of vulnerable and at risk adults continue to be admitted to expensive Assessment and Treatment (A&T) centers and then left to languish in long term hospital care.


“As a society we are still locking away 350 more vulnerable adults each year in these high dependency units.  Even after assessment, more than 25 per cent remain in hospital care despite a Government commitment to move all the patients into the community,” she said.


“The Government is committed to closing these units down, yet they remain open and more people are referred to them, while everyone admits they don’t have any positive outcomes.


“Even the Care Minister is despondent at the ‘abject failure of his target to close all high dependency hospitals by the end of June in the aftermath of Winterbourne, yet we have a solution.


“Senior officials form the Ministry of Health have visited our uStep settings and seen the results we are achieving for the people we care for.  The feedback has been very positive but then it seems to stall as the policy of using A&T center’s for long term care persists.


“It is particularly frustrating when we hear of mental health budgets feeling the axe yet  uStep also delivers a value premium for society because in the long term it is far more cost effective.  There seems to be an unwillingness to embrace uStep and we as a nation continue to keep more than 3000 people locked in long term hospital care in the UK.”


ubu has campaigned vociferously for people in long term hospitals to be found more suitable accommodation in the community and is hoping to make an impact when Senior Managers and the people we serve meet the Chef Nursing officer, Jane Cummings as part of her fact finding report on alternatives to Winterbourne View.


Dorothy Jarvis-lee strongly advocates that “Society has to embrace sustainable safe  alternatives that deliver for the people we serve and society,”



Case study


Sarah was in a high dependency unit in Yorkshire when ubu found her.  Years of sexual and mental abuse had left her physically and emotionally scarred while high doses of medication left her unable to think clearly.  Watched round the clock by three carers at all times 24/7.


She moved to ubu  using their uStep service 15 years ago.  Sarah immediately started to change things for herself with some small step goals such as reducing her medication, living on her own, making new friends.  Eventually she gained enough confidence to move into her own apartment and gradually took back control of her own life making some dramatic decisions..


Sarah has sacked her phycologist and has minimum drug and care intervention.

This year she had surgery to remove the physical scars of self harm and is trying to find her long lost brother.


“Without ubu I would still be rotting in a hospital forgotten by the world.  I have my own home, friends, I am at the heart of my own community and I am able to make decisions for myself.  I am even starting to trace my brother who I haven’t seen for 25 years.”


For further information please visit our website at www.ubu.me.uk

uStep only viable option for vulnerable adults and society

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

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