Green Paper Brings Our Dudes and Dudettes a Step Closer to Home

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Since we last wrote about the LBBill, the tragic death of Connor Sparrowhawk in an Assessment and Treatment Unit (ATU) in July 2013 and the so called ‘care and treatment’ of so many other dudes and dudettes across the country, the JusticeforLB campaign has continued at full pace.

Connor Sparrowhawk - Laughing Boy

We were delighted to meet with the key drivers behind the campaign - Sara, George, Steve and Mark at Manchester University on 26 January at a #Justiceforallthedudes event. It was an excellent and well attended event where everyone was invited to share their ideas and thoughts on the draft LBBill. We were then honoured to be invited to join them in London at the beginning of last week to talk through the proposed changes for Draft 2.

JusticeforLB and the LBBill

LBBill EventOver the last year the JusticeforLB campaign has taken great steps to raise awareness of the awful reality of the ‘care’ that many people with learning disabilities and autism receive. One of the ways in which the campaign seeks to make improvements is through the LBBill.

'The LBBill aims to promote the rights of disabled people to chose where they live, who they live with, the type of support that they need and the kind of life they want to live, in their own home. The LBBill also aims to make it harder for the state to force disabled people into residential care or treatment, unless that is what the person chooses.'

The second draft of the LBBill can be downloaded and read here. It is hoped that a second draft will be available by early April.

No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored - The Green Paper

Last Friday, 6 March, Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, launched a consultation. The details of the consultation are set out in the government’s Green Paper titled No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored.

The proposals seek to give more rights to people with learning disabilities and autism in regards to their care.

The consultation opened on 6 March, and closes in 12 weeks’ time, on 29 May. Disabled people, their families, those working in the sector and other interested parties are invited to submit their views on the proposals.

The Green Paper wants to see four things:

  • People in charge, supported by family and friends
  • Inclusion and independence in the community
  • The right care in the right place
  • Very clear accountability and responsibility throughout the system

This is proposed through giving people five rights, expressed as I/my statements:

  • My right to be independent, to be part of a community, and to live in a home I’ve chosen
  • My right to be listened to and have my wishes acted upon. My right to challenge decisions about me
  • My rights under the Mental Health Act
  • My right to control my own support and services with a personal budget. My right for my NHS and Local Authority to work together for my benefit
  • I want to know who is responsible for supporting my physical as well as my mental health

Comments

The Green Paper is a step in the right direction; it helps lead the way for changes in the law which would better ensure that the wishes of ‘all dudes and dudettes’ and their families are listened to and help enable people with learning disabilities and autism to choose to live at home and within their local communities.

The question of whether we, as humans, can decide how and where we want to live our lives, and who we want to spend them with, is a basic human rights issue that can affect us all. We therefore encourage everyone to read the Green Paper and to respond to the proposals. We will share our own response once finished.


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