Alliance urges providers of support to people with learning disabilities to sign up to quality code

driving up quality

The Driving up Quality Alliance is an alliance of people and organisations (listed below) committed to ensuring that the kind of abuse of people with learning disabilities uncovered at Winterbourne View can never happen again.

They have developed a Code which they are inviting all providers that support people with learning disabilities to sign up to.
Whilst the Code has a particular focus on people with challenging behaviour who have longstanding and complex support needs it also applies to all people with learning disabilities

The Code aims to

  • Drive up quality in services for people with learning disabilities
  • Create and build a passion for the provision of high quality, values-led services
  • Be clear about what is and what is not acceptable practice
  • Promote a culture of openness and honesty in organisations
  • Celebrate and share good work being done

The idea behind the code is to outline what good support looks like and provide examples of good and bad practice. Signing up to the Code is voluntary and members will be encouraged to carry out a self- assessment and to publish their reports on how they are working towards meeting the code.

Whilst self assessment is at the heart of the process, organisations that sign up to the code will also be encouraged to use Experts by Experience or other mechanisms for some independent verification of what they are saying in their self assessments.

In addition, people who use services, their, families, staff who work in the services as well as commissioners and members of the public will be able to challenge self- assessments if their experience suggests that service is not doing what the self assessment says.

The code covers five key areas:

  1. Support is focused on the person
  2. The person is supported to have an ordinary and meaningful life
  3. Care and support focuses on people being happy and having a good quality of life
  4. A good culture is important to the organisation
  5. Managers and board members lead and run the organisation well

For each of the key areas, there is an explanation of what this means, along with examples of what good practice might look like in this area.

You can find out more about the alliance, the code and download the self assessment guide here

List of organisations in the Driving Up Quality Alliance:
Housing & Support Alliance, English Community Care Association, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, Sitra, Association for Real Change, National Care Association, National Care Forum, Adults with Learning Disability Services Forum, Shared Lives Plus and the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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