Please take a minute and look at these figures. What do you think these people have done to be treated in this way? It must have been something truly awful to be detained for that amount or time and to be secluded, restrained and, in some cases, abused.
But, even if they had been found guilty of the most heinous crimes, would we still think this treatment was acceptable? Surely some would argue that, in a civilised society, this treatment would be in contravention of their human rights. Because, if we were talking about animals being treated in this way, would this be okay? Or would we feel outraged and sick to our stomach that this was happening to them.
So, what if we said that this is the way that more than 2,000 people with autism and learning disabilities, some of the most vulnerable people in our society, are being treated. Right here, right now in the UK; potentially in a care home near you. Is that okay? Would you call it care?
It’s been ten years since the Winterbourne care home scandal and it’s truly, truly awful to see that, despite numerous promises, nothing has changed. Nothing. The House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report last year, on the treatment of autistic people and people with a learning disability described the inpatient experience as “shocking”. That’s now, not 20 years ago. The treatment people living in care facilities are receiving now, is “shocking”.
Yesterday, Labour MP Barbara Keeley asked why the government had not responded to the Health Select Committee’s report (you can have a look at it via her twitter feed here). Despite repeated promises, their response is over eight months late. And they have not provided any explanation as to why this. It is as if this issue just doesn’t matter.
It may not matter to them, but does it matter to you that people are being treated in this way? How about if it was your mum; your brother; or your daughter who was being treated this way and people were happy to let this so-called care continue. So, we need people to show that this does matter, that this treatment is unacceptable. We need people to stand up and shout for those unable to shout for themselves that this needs to stop.
Please help us spread the message
If you can, please share this post far and wide. And if you’re feeling half as angry as we are about this, write or email your MP and ask them to step up and stop this inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable in our society. In 2022, this really shouldn’t be much too much to ask.
If you’d like to get involve with helping in any other way then we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us here.