Liz Kendal

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Shadow Minister for Care, Liz Kendall MP, commends our person-centered approach

Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and Leicester West MP, Liz Kendall, commended Community Integrated Care‘s approach to person-centred support at the 2014 Learning Disability Today Conference.  

Liz KendalMs Kendall was delivering the keynote address at the conference, which took place in London on 28th November. In this, she responded to the Sir Stephen Bubb’s ‘Winterbourne View – Time for Change’ report, which highlights that 2600 people across the UK are still living in institutional settings.

Her speech outlined her feelings that greater action is needed, proposing that “Ministers should now set a clear, two year deadline for moving people out of hospital and into the community. People with learning disabilities and their families should also be guaranteed the right to have a personal budget for their care, backed up with high quality advocacy and support.”

In contrast to the isolation of institutional care, Ms Kendall celebrated the person-centred support she witnessed when she visited our Bendbow Rise service, in Leicester, in March. She told the audience:

“Too often politicians, policy makers and services see individuals and families as a series of problems that need solving. They’re not. They are human beings – with feelings, hopes, dreams, aspirations and abilities – who want to live their lives as fully as possible with support that helps them achieve their goals.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of a service that really gets this is a supported living service in my constituency run by Community Integrated Care, a brilliant not-for-profit charity which helps people with complex physical and learning disabilities live independently through truly personalised care and support.

At the heart of their approach are “One Page Profiles” – simple questionnaires that identify what’s really important to each person and what they really enjoy doing, to make sure the support they get helps them live the life they choose. Every member of staff fills out a profile too, so they can be matched to people with similar interests and temperaments, and so that the staff can support each other and work better together as a team.

One of the service users I met, Martin, loves football, animals and music. So the staff have arranged for him to volunteer at Gorse Hill Farm, regularly take him to the footie, and he has a brilliant sound system in his room too – I know because we had a great dance while I was there.

I was so impressed with the One Page Profiles that I got everyone in my office to fill them out, myself included. It was a real eye opener and made us all realise how easy it is to think you know people and what they care about, when you really don’t.”

Adam Wells, Community Integrated Care’s Regional Director for Central England, says, “We were delighted that Liz Kendall chose to celebrate our person-centred approach at the Learning Disability Today Conference, as a solution to institutional care.”

He continues, “Ms Kendall’s speech particularly resonates with Community Integrated Care because our charity was founded 26 years ago with the aim of supporting people to leave institutional hospitals to lead fuller lives in the community, where they are respected as the citizens they are. Whilst a lot has changed over the past quarter century, our charity is still fulfilling its original mission today. We continue to support people to move out of Winterborne View like settings to ensure that they too can live independently in the community, with access to the right support.”

Read the full speech

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