People with Learning Disabilities and Families Need to be Listened to

In this blog post, LDE Co-Founder Gary Bourlet responds to the news about the death of Danny Tozer.

I was shocked and sad about the findings of the investigation into the death of Danny Tozer.  You can read about it here.

Danny was living in a shared rented house in the community, called supported living. His family had concerns about the quality of care for some time and they were never addressed.

Families need to be listened to if they have concerns – Danny might not have been able to say what was wrong, but his family could.  Why wasn’t his family listened to?  They and his friends knew him best.

I hope that Mencap will act on the recommendations made by the investigation into Danny’s death. It doesn’t matter if it is a charity, public service or private service. Let’s get them around the table with self-advocates, families and friends and organisations to talk about what happened and what needs to change and then do something about it, now rather than later.

The report found that “Danny was left for longer than he should have been.”

Support must be centred around the individual; that may be a learning disability nurse coming in during the day for as long as the person needs or some other support staff. If someone has epilepsy then there needs to be someone to ensure their safety; that does not mean be in the bathroom with them, it means just ask to see if they are ok. I have epilepsy myself though mine is under control.  I am careful myself, because I live alone even though I could do with the company as well.

Money needs to be redirected to housing and support, there needs to be meetings with all people with learning disabilities/autism, their families, their friends and organisations, landlords, councillors and MP’s should be coming together for round table talks to boost safe, affordable, quality housing and support –a real person-centred approach to living.  People with learning disabilities need to be listened to.

Nothing about us, without us.

Jenny Carter Lifetime Member of LDE says:

“This is outrageous we should not need to put up with bad support.  Treat us with respect and dignity and let us speak up.  Work with us not against us!  You can’t get it right without us!”

Vicky Buckingham, Self-Advocate Member of LDE  says:

“If Danny had any Person Centred Plans then these should have been looked at then these issues would have come up.”