Providers of learning disability services expressed shock and disappointment at the scenes depicted in Channel 4’s ‘Under Lock and Key’ aired on Wednesday.

The Dispatches documentary prompted organisations representing the sector – including CMG, Voyage Care, United Response, Lifeways, The Wilf Ward Family Trust, Mencap, Choice Care Group, the Voluntary Organisations Disabilities Group (VODG), ARC England, Encompass (Dorset), Homes Caring for Autism, 7Days of Action Steering Group, Bringing Us Together and Dimensions – to deliver a unified response to the footage of services at St Andrew’s Healthcare.

Peter Kinsey, Chief Executive of CMG said:

“I was shocked and appalled and felt physically sick when I watched the documentary.

“It is inappropriate for so many people with learning disabilities to be living in large hospitals where it is very difficult to provide personalised support. As we have seen all too often, the standards of care in hospital can be extremely poor and unacceptable in a modern society.

“However, this documentary also clearly shows that people with learning disabilities who have complex needs can live successfully in the community, with the right support.”

Tim Cooper, Chief Executive of United Response said:

“This terrible footage is immensely worrying to providers in the learning disability sector that provide quality services at a high intensity to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

“There are still far too many people living in institutions and inpatient settings that do not benefit from small-scale personalised social care services delivered in the community. We want individuals to exercise more independence and control over their own lives.

“The Government set out the right direction of travel with its Transforming Care Services policy initiative; however that agenda must now be turned into a reality through giving people access to sufficiently funded community based services.”

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