Bubb’s Last Supper

Today Sir Stephen Bubb presented his final report in his trilogy of reports into learning disability care. It seems a long time ago that the Winterbourne View Concordat collapsed and Sir Bubb was tasked with the transforming care programme. Today marked the end of Bubb’s input. Where are we?

Most of the recommendations from the first reports still stand but today Sir Bubb introduced two further ideas. Firstly, an LD Commissioner is needed to bring all the interested parties together and to hold those parties to account. The second recommendation was to have a national PBS standard for all care workers.

A Commissioner may not be a bad idea but we shouldn’t hold our breath that there will be much holding to account. When Jeremy Hunt announces that he hasn’t the power to intervene at Southern Health, will an LD Commissioner have any more success. Will an LD Commissioner be able to hold to account those invisible, silent LA commissioners who always get off Scott free whenever there’s a national LD scandal.

As for having a national Positive Behaviour Support accreditation… I know the PBS possee will jump on me but having a PBS qualification would be a single reason for me not to hire a support worker. A PBS badge wouldn’t get within a mile of my job spec.

What has the LD world made of Sir Blubb’s last course? Alistair Burt rather dismissively announced that there is currently another action plan being drawn up. Just what we need – another action plan. The Department of Health gobbled up and spat out Sir Bubb with their usual bland, empty statement. Professor Richard Hastings unsurprisingly jumped on the PBS announcement and preened as he saw some serious nest feathering in the pipeline. Harold and Hilda, who are back together again, called for…..stuff. (It’s funny how Harold and Hilda never mention they were key members of the original concordat. Must have slipped their minds). And thousands of LD people and their families across the country nutted their living room walls.

Everything is dehumanised. Everything is presented as so complicated and challenging. Processes and buildings loom large. People hardly appear at all.

Let’s pare all this back. What do people need? A home. A support package. That’s it.

A home shouldn’t be too difficult. Either the person moves back to the home from whence they came or they move to a new home. The homes already exist. Not units. Not placements. Real actual homes. Given Steven’s current situation, I had a look for two bed properties locally this morning. I found 37 possibles. In one small village. No more fudging – the homes are there.

What about the staff? I think it’s a real shame that there isn’t a national register/directory of care workers. I can search the internet and find individual counsellors, plumbers, personal trainers but I can’t find any support workers. The reports always bemoan the lack of training. But don’t we have to take a leap of faith and let people learn on the job. I want someone skilled to work with Steven and aren’t that interested that they’ve worked with a man with dementia in Croydon. My requirements in a support worker initially are embarrassingly straightforward:

1. They need to be interested in Steven.

2. They need to understand that Steven’s human rights are the bedrock.

3. They need to be willing to throw themselves into pretty much anything that interests Steven.

4. They need to be interested in learning and their own personal & professional development.

5. They need to have a good sense of humour.

That’s it. Specifics can be learned as they learn about Steven. Great that you’ve done lots of courses about autism but I want you to engage with my son, not a case study. You are employed to be a co passenger on his journey. Let him navigate. Let him drive. You’ll learn loads and you’ll have a bloody good time.

Back to Bubb. As the waitresses clear away the black pudding smeared plates and the cleaners Hoover up the last of the croissant crumbs, what happens next? Who knows. We know there’ll be another action plan. Fair play to Sir Stephen, at the last knockings he attempted to join the dots and referred to the Mazars report.

Sadly, therein lies the clue to what happens next. What’s happened since Mazars? Absolutely fuck all. Except a deliberate and purposeful suppressing of any action. Mark Lamb wrote today that more taskforce, more action plans and zilch change is a form of psychological abuse of learning disabled people and their families. He’s right. Despite your gut instinct and the knowledge of years of experience, it is human nature to hope. The players know that and use that to maintain their power.

Now that the Bubb breakfasts are history, there is likely to be a surplus mountain of bacon. I suggest we fill our faces. We need our stamina because the change is only going to come from us.


11 thoughts on “Bubb’s Last Supper”

  1. Let’s hope a commissioner with LDs – dearn’t I say it – someone with LDs who can and will represent OUR interests. No marginised group has every gain their rights without them taking the lead – please see LBGT, Women’s and Disabled Peoples and Black Peoples movement for examples. Whilst all these groups had allies, it was only when the voice of those who are oppressed are taking the lead that things will change – Now we are slowely seeing a move towards Transgender people getting their rights because they are taking up the reigns.

    Why are we still light years behind around Disabled people with LDs – its because our voice has been crowded out by professionals, service providers, academics, orgs FOR people with LDs and Parents groups. Why is not speaking up groups and People 1st not being invited to speak out on our behalf? Why is not our groups not getting the funding to do this work…
    Where is people with LDs speaking out and up about the latest attacks on disabled people with LDs???? Commissioner with LDs – will the contributors to this blog support such a move?

    Of course I recognise that one commissioner is not going to have a magic wound – but it must form a big strategic plan that supports the people with LDs leadership to challenge the outrageous disgraceful and inhumane behaviour of everyone involved including politiations that appear to be too weak to really stamp out such awful breaches of our human and civil rights.

  2. Mark I would say keep your son at home until there is change don’t listen to the lies they will tell you they I’ll put your child into a world not enemies you could imagine or kill him the only thing they have not done yet on my son is take his life and that was not for the want of trying .Keep your child with you at all times go on Facebook and type in STOP THE ABUSE IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE HOMES scroll down to Brian Fitzgerald he is the one with the bashed in face and that was hidden from everyone and if you want more proof of long term abuse I have lots more photos my son was named after me

  3. Why should “A commissioner” firmly embedded idn the established order work any better? Expensive and compromised from the start when there is such a gulf between what is available and what is needed.

    He who pays the piper?

  4. Unfortunately i agree with that Brian. Keeping your child with you at all times. No one can be trusted consistently. A peeved support worker can result in (at best) a confused cared for person. There will be plenty of time for institutional care once weve kicked the bucket. Thats the reality and it stinks of shit. I am so sorry this happened to your lad x

    1. The MCA, and courts will not let you keep your child.

      How do you fight the courts and the system ?

      A system, that as we speak, is being built up with paid legions, and building units everywhere, and buoyed by venture capital and enforced by the government policy.

      Our children, via the huge profit from enforced medication, which makes them suffer, and often die and extortionate private profit encagement, based on their supposed difficulty to care for, is boosting our economy.

      Those in the know and/or part of the cabal, make sure their children, are kept out of this horror by alliance, and private education.

  5. Before we changed to Direct Payment, we used Support Workers from an agency. It was a good agency, and their staff WERE well trained – and fairly paid. We had some very good carers – but as far as I was concerned it was often in spite of the training rather than because of it. The best of them could take the good bits and ignore the twaddle, but those who didn;t have the judgement or confidence to do that could sometimes be a menace. Like you,once I had a choice I opted to choose people I thought my daughter would respond to, and, in a sense, let her train them! Five years in, it has worked pretty well – we have continuity and understanding both ways.

    It is tough sometimes though. I don;t get why there isn’t some kind of list either and some forms of training might actually be useful if it can be discussed and tested in context. But, no – you are on your own and left to get on with it – while being disaproved of and continuously judged.

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