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Getting There

Author: Simon Duffy

Rightly, there has been a great deal of outrage at the failure to end the unnecessary institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities in expensive, and frequently abusive, ATUs - Assessment and Treatment Units. However there has also been some good work. This report is the second in a series of three reports which focuses on developments in Devon to help people re-establish a full community life.

The first report - Returning Home - described why people end up in ATUs, the harm they cause and the innovative plan that had been developed in Devon to get people home. This plan included:

  • The development of a brand new, highly focused, support provider
  • The use of Individual Service Funds and Personal Health Budgets
  • Individually designed flexible support packages
  • A shift in power to people and to their families

This second report describes some of the early progress made, as well as some of the barriers faced along the way. It also draws upon some of the national data to put Devon's progress in perspective, and it further underlines the reasons why the institutional services of ATUs must be ended.

The report encourages commissioners and providers to work together to:

  1. Ensure service providers can demonstrate leadership, reducing the need for bureaucratic tendering arrangements
  2. Get access to ordinary housing options, in the right communities, to meet people's needs
  3. Work effectively with clinician's to ensure everyone's safety in the process
  4. Confronting the strategic challenges which cause problems to begin with

Since the this report was developed there has been further positive progress in Devon. Please contact Helen Toker-Lester to find out more.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.


The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Getting There © Simon Duffy 2015.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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