The appointment of Caroline Dinenage as  Minister of State overseeing adult social care, the Department of Health and Social Care

The appointment of Caroline Dinenage as  Minister of State overseeing adult social care, the Department of Health and Social Care could be the political ‘kiss of death’ for Caroline, or the first glimmer of hope for the 1.4 million families with members who have learning disabilities. It could well be that she will be the first Minister since Enoch Powell in the 1960s who has shown genuine concern for this vulnerable and disadvantaged section of our society.

But first, there must be recognition that care in the community is in terminal decline. The hemorrhaging of vital services  over the years, and the cover up of the betrayal of these people by academics and major charitable organizations responsible for their welfare, needs to be scrutinized and debated.  Will this happen?

Extremely doubtful, for to hand back responsibility for social care for people with learning disabilities to the Department of Health in the light of its past dreadful performance (Institutions and the ‘chemical cosh’), suggests that absolutely nothing has been learnt from social history.

For further insights and information, please refer to my website http://learningdisabilitiesproblems.co.uk

Author: charlesahenley

Following a varied career starting with 4 years as a city office worker, 4 years service in the RAF both as ground staff ad flying duties, 16 years working for IBM Time systems division as a service engineer, a short spell as a production line supervisor, before returning as service manager to another US business machines corporation who had taken over IBM Time systems division in the UK. The nature of this work brought into contact with day centre establishments for people with learning disabilities and in 1966 when radical and progressive policies were awakening I changed career direction. In the years that followed I worked for five different authorities at centres ranging in size from 24 to 190 attendees of all levels of ability and saw remarkably progressive policies being introduced in the first 20 years for the benefit of the attendees and their carers. Sadly, as a consequence of local authorities gaining full control of policy implementation from 1990 onwards, service support went into a spiral of decline that has made debacle of the rational principles of care in the community. There is now a vital need to take responsibility for service implementation away from local authorities and the NHS and grant it to a single service agency under the direction of its own Minister. Without an urgent change of direction, the current dire situation can only worsen.

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