Council pledges to improve learning disabilities support

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IMPROVED help will be given to people with learning disabilities in Portsmouth, following a national report.

Six former members of staff at the private Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol were jailed after they were shown abusing residents who had learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The final government report into the events, published last December, set out action to ensure better care is provided for people with a learning disability or autism, who also have challenging behaviour.

Following this, Portsmouth City Council’s health and wellbeing board is seeing how services can be improved.

The board, chaired by Councillor Leo Madden, received a report outlining how such vulnerable people were already supported by specialist teams in the community and at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Cllr Madden said: ‘Anyone who saw the abuse meted out to some residents at Winterbourne View would have been sickened by it. We need to improve the transition from child to adult services, and we need to develop an employment strategy for those with a learning disability.’

The council said its next steps will include:

n Continuing to monitor all people with a learning disability or autism who are placed in specialist care outside the city.

n Developing a formal plan focusing on support for people with a learning disability who exhibit challenging behaviour.