If anyone had any doubt, this week has shown that the #justiceforlb campaign has an awful lot of welly. Bubbgate kicked off on Monday with the excruciating post from Sir Stephen Bubb about his breakfast meeting with the top bods from several major charity players and how the group, fully replenished, had come up with The Plan. Moreover, The Plan had been presented to Simon Stevens who had accepted The Plan. The post was a bit detail lite about The Plan. But heigh ho, off to work they go.
On Tuesday, a rather remarkable thing happened. Four people, quite independently wrote blogs, challenging the Bubb breakfast club. We must have all pressed “post” at the same time. Soon after, more pieces started to arrive, all despairing that another think tank had pitched up with so little regard for the people they are meant to be serving. Community Care published an article, capturing people’s disgust.
It was back foot time. Sir Bubb updated his blog where The Plan started to evaporate like a post breakfast burp. NHS England issued an embarrassing statement, basically distancing themselves from Sir Bubb’s announcements. Mencap and United Response, two of the breakfast diners, issued rather wet statements, along the lines that they felt they had no choice but to tuck in, as Bubb’s group is the only dish on the menu.
Its been a week of Bubb hell and squeak from the key charities.
Are they right? Is there only one option open for them to engage with?
Last week, I made a suggestion in the “Home Rights” post. Steve Broach summed up what I was trying to say perfectly. What is needed is a statutory presumption that a person lives in their own home. It flips the current way of doing things on its head. With legislation to support the person, any State office wishing to remove someone from their home and move them to an assessment and treatment unit would need court approval to do so. The State would have to demonstrate that it is in the person’s best interests to be at the ATU. It would be like the deprivation of liberty safeguards in reverse. The State would have to reveal why they’d be unwilling to fund a care package for the person to remain in their home. And they would have to be transparent and explicit about what assessment and treatment would be taking place and how that would improve the person’s life. The onus shifts to the State to make its case. I reckon that would stop a huge amount of people being taken from their homes and held in ATUs.
What about the 3000+ people already trapped in ATUs? How do we get them out? In a way, we would just have to apply the same legislation that I’ve mentioned above – a statutory presumption that someone lives in their own home. These people were living somewhere, pre ATU, so perhaps the starting point is for the State to demonstrate why they can’t go back there. If that really isn’t an option, then the State has to show why it won’t fund a home package for the person elsewhere. And all this would come under court scrutiny.
Of course, all this means a real commitment to support in the home but this is where really good person centered planning, positive behavior support and personalization step up to the plate. These iniatives that have been frustratingly patchy get a chance to come into their own. They provide the foundation stones of making this legislation work.
There we go then. My response to United Response is that there are other options. Options that are definitely doable with some love, belief and balls.
And not a sodding croissant in sight.